AVOID these fish because they are long lived and slow growing.
A slow growing species with late maturation and low fecundity makes it vulnerable to overfishing. Few juveniles make it to maturity.
The common skate is assessed as critically endangered by IUCN
The white skate is very rare in European waters and is also assessed as critically endangered by IUCN.
Extremely rare in the south and central North Sea, West Baltic and West Mediterranean. Unknown, but it has probably been fished to extinction in the Irish Sea.
Bottom trawling used to catch skate is destructive to environment.
Skate bycatch is wasted through fishing practices targeted at other species.
Since 1999 various species in the North Sea have been managed under a single Total Allowable Catch (TAC).
Some sea fishery committees have bylaws giving a minimum landing size making fishing sustainable under the MSC.
Irish Fishing committees have removed skate from their listings, therefore decreasing the incentive for anglers to land and kill large individual fish to enter record books.
UK recreational anglers are encouraged to return skate live to the water by their representative organizations.
A Biodiversity Action Plan has been developed to stabilize refuge populations in all key areas of abundance and facilitate the migration of common skate from refuge populations to areas where they are scarce.
More research and monitoring of species caught is needed to give a clearer picture of present status.
Avoid eating skate from areas where stocks are depleted.
Photo courtesy of Eamonn Sullivan