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Common Skate (RAJA BATIS)

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SKATE COMMON / RAJA BATIS (FURTHER RECORDS SUSPENDED AS CONSERVATION MEASURE
)
15 30 46.95 103.8 Co, Kerry Eire 070676 C. Stone
24 50 46.40 102.5 Scotland 77 M. McLeod
*AT AT 103.73 102.5 Shetland Is. Scotland 70 R. McPherson
*SH SH 76.83 169.6 Loch Raig Scotland 95 G. McKenzie

The Common Skate (RAJA BATIS)

is large in size (most commonly caught large skate) The Snout is long and anterior margin of the wing is concave on adults, almost straight on juveniles. The backs of males are covered with small prickles more so on the nose area Most R.batis have one median row of spines and two lateral running down the tail and normally have one or two inter-dorsal spines. Colour: Olive grey/brown with white/cream spots on the back, white with numerous small black dots on the underside. On juveniles and males the amount of spots almost make the underside look black.

Feeds on bottom living crustaceans such as crabs and scallops and most species of fish, often comming well off the bottom for Mackerel, Herring along with the more normal Whiting, Hake, Lesser Spotted Dogfish, Rays and Spurdog.

Common Skate (Raja Batis)

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. The egg of a skate is what (along with similar shaped eggs of other members of the shark family, including dogfish and tope) we commonly call a 'mermaid's purse', and it is typically 6 cm long and 4 cm wide with four horns, one at each corner. The young skate illustrated above has recently hatched from its egg and absorbed the yolk sac, so now it must find its own food. Its five gills can be seen now, but as it grown up only the five gill slits on each side will remain visible. The skate is a slow-growing fish and will take at least ten years to reach sexual maturity.

Found in depths of 5m down to around 600m and over most types of ground, but most common over clean firm ground. Also it is quite common to find them moving about in small same sex/age groups

Found all round the UK although very Scarce now in the Lower North Sea/ English Channel and Irish Sea due to overfishing. The most productive areas are the West coast of Ireland and the Western Isles of Scotland.


Information supplied by http://web.ukonline.co.uk/aquarium/pages/commonskate.html and www.first-nature.com/ fishes/raja_batis.htm

 
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