So Common Skate are recognised as an endangered species, but they still catch them commercially? That is amazing, .........and very sad. Says it all really.
No surprise there.
The skate is classed as critically endangered as are Spurdog and Porbeagle shark by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) FAO CITES and every other scientific organisation. The tope is classed as endangered.
I donít blame the commercial fishermen but the European rulers. They had a chance last December to order a zero catch on the above three critically endangered species but whimped out, for fear of upsetting the French and Spanish who between them catch over a half of the worlds landings of elasmobranches.
The Elasmobranches are in deep trouble because of their slow growth rate and the time it takes to reach sexual maturity.
With skate, both males and females mature at around 10 years old when they are roughly 100lb. Very slow reproduction cycle, with females laying around 40 eggs over a few months, roughly every three years.
For a comparison the Thornback, at 6-7 years will produce 140-180 eggs every two years
From http://www.ukbap.org...ans.aspx?ID=543The common skate is vulnerable to capture by many static and towed fishing gear; it is taken both in target fisheries for rays and as by-catch in other fisheries. Its slow growth and large size at maturity mean that juveniles have little or no chance of surviving to maturity in heavily fished areas. Although no longer targeted where it is very scarce, the common skate continues to be caught as by-catch in fisheries for other species, including more fecund rays. Under these conditions commercial extinction can readily be followed by biological extinction.
Reducing fishing mortality on the mature female component of the
stock is considered an appropriate goal for arresting further declines in
the short-term, and allowing the stock to recover in the medium- to
It is the last sentence that encouraged Defra to look at a maximum landing limit
The value to RSA is enormous, "One tagged skate has been recaptured 6 times and that fish alone, with charter and accommodation fees is worth over £5000 to the Scottish economy and it is still swimming around. The same fish would fetch about £10 pounds at the fish market."
Edited by Ian Burrett, 09 February 2007 - 01:33 PM.