Method of production - Caught at sea
Capture method - All applicable methods
Capture area - North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area - Celtic Sea and West of Scotland
Stock detail - VI and VII
Fish type - White flat fish
The stock status of shagreen rays is unknown.
Shagreen rays belong to the Rajidae family which includes skates and rays. The shagreen ray is a medium sized species growing to a maximum length of 120cm. Males and females mature from 56 to 85cm in length. Age at maturity and maximum age is unknown.
Celtic Sea and West of Scotland
The stock status of shagreen ray in this area is unknown because of the lack of species specific landing data, survey coverage and its low appearance in scientific surveys. Reference points are not defined and no analytical assessment carried out. ICES advises that landings should be reduced by 20% in 2015 and 2016. This would imply landings of 186t in each of 2015 and 2016. The species would also benefit from a reduction in overall demersal fishing effort and additional measures to regulate exploitation of the stock such as seasonal and/or area closures.
There is no specific management plan for demersal elasmobranchs and no management plan for this stock or any skate stock in the ICES area. Given the regional differences in skate assemblages and fisheries, ICES recommends that management measures for elasmobranchs be devloped on a case-by-case basis. Currently these species are managed under a common Total Allowable Catch (TAC). There is a combined TAC in place for all species of skate and ray in the North and Norwegian Seas. Previously there was no requirement to report species of skate and ray individually so they were reported together as 'skates and rays', which makes it difficult for scientists to evaluate the stock status of different skate and ray species. However, from 2008 EU countries must report species specific landings of major skate and ray species in the North Sea and Norwegian Sea, so that in the future scientists will be able to advise on species specific catches. There are also prohibitions on fishing for, retaining and landing some species, including the most severely depleted species taken as bycatch in mixed demersal fisheries. ICES does not advise that general or species specific TACs be established at present because they are not the most effective means to regulate these bycatch species. TACs alone may not adequately protect these species as there are differences amongst species in their vulnerabilities to exploitation and a restrictive TAC may lead to discarding. Instead seasonal and/or area closures, effort restrictions and measures to protect spawning grounds for example are recommended. In 2007, Fisheries Science Partnership projects (fishermen and scientists working together) were conducted to investigate discard survival rates in trawl fisheries to find out the survival rate for skates and rays that would be discarded with the introduction of a maximum landing length. The projects also aimed to develop species identification onboard and contribute to improved data collection. The Skate and Ray Producers Association has recently been working to improve the lack of species specific data by reporting their catches by species, into a central database. This follows previous collaborative work with the Shark Trust and Seafish Industry Authority, to produce an identification guide to help distinguish different species.
Shagreen ray is caught in low numbers in mixed fisheries on the continental slope. Skates and rays form an important component of mixed demersal fisheries, taken as bycatch in beam and otter trawls, in seine fisheries and also in targeted fisheries using lines and set nets. Also targeted by sea anglers. No Minimum Landing Size (MLS) is specified for skates and rays in EU waters outside 6 miles. MLS specified in some coastal waters of England and Wales, e.g. Kent and Essex Sea Fisheries District, 40cm (wing to wing), South Wales 45cm, Cumbria SFC 45cm. Under current EU legislation, where a directed fishery for skates takes place, a mesh size in the cod-end of no less than 28cm is required and not less than 22cm in the rest of the trawl. There is a potential for damage to the seabed by trawling. Trawling is also associated with discarding of unwanted fish, i.e. undersized and/or non-quota and/or over-quota species.
ICES Advice 2014, Book 5 http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2014/2014/rjf-celt.pdf
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