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Hongeo koreana

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES RAJIDAE

Scientific Name: Hongeo koreana
Species Authority: (Jeong & Nakabo, 1997)
Common Name(s):
English Korean Skate
Synonym(s):
Okamejei koreana (Jeong & Nakabo, 1997)
Raja koreana Jeong & Nakabo, 1997
Taxonomic Notes: The taxonomy of this species has not been adequately resolved. Jeong and Nakabo (1997) described Raja koreana as a new species based on an adult female specimen collected from southwestern coast of Korean Peninsula. This species has several unique characters not shared with any other supraspecific taxa of Rajidae (sensu McEachran and Dunn 1998), and Jeong and Nakabo (1998) suggested that it should be elevated to a new genus. Further investigation into its taxonomy is required. Compagno (2005) and Ebert and Compagno (2007) place Raja koreana Jeong & Nakabo, 1997 in the genus Okamejei.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2004-08-30
Assessor(s): Jeong, C.-H. & Ishihara, H.I.
Reviewer(s): Valenti, S.V. & Musick, J.A. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
The range of this apparently rare skate is poorly defined. The Korean Skate (Okamejei koreana) is known from southern Korean waters, where it may be endemic, but additional reports from Goto Islands and Danjo Islands in Japan require verification. It occurs at depths of 30-80 m and attains about 84 cm total length. The Korean Skate is targeted along with other skates in gillnet fisheries off southern Korea, but no species-specific data are available. This species' apparent rarity and restricted range in an area where target fisheries operate is of concern and further information is urgently required to determine its status. Insufficient information is currently available to assess it beyond Data Deficient and research is urgently required on its abundance, interaction with fisheries and full range.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Northwest Pacific: this skate may be restricted to southern Korean waters. It is found in a relatively small area of the southwest to southeast coast of the Korean Peninsula, including the Jeju Strait, Heuksan Islands and Cheongsan Islands. Records of juveniles of this species from Goto Islands and Danjo Islands in Japan require verification (Jeong 1999, Jeong and Nakabo 1997, Nakabo 2002, Tokimura et al. 1999).
Countries:
Native:
Korea, Republic of
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – northwest
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Little specific information is available on the population of this apparently rare skate. It does not seem to be regularly recorded but is observed in low numbers on fish markets. Only about 100 individuals were observed during fish market surveys conducted in southern Korea over 15 months (Sept. 2002-Dec. 2003) (Kim et al. in prep.). There is concern that it is now more rarely observed than historically, but no quantitative data are currently available on the scale or extent of any decline. The Jeju Strait and the area around the southern Heuksan-do Islands (southeastern Korea), where this species is more commonly found, appear to be important sites for this species (Jeong 1999).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Okamejei koreana is found at depths ranging from about 30-80 m (Jeong and Nakabo 1997, H.-M. Kim pers. comm.). This rare skate may hibernate around Heuksan-do Islands from November to April, and then move to inshore to the coast of the Korean Peninsula (H.-M. Kim pers. comm.). This species attains at least 82 cm total length (TL) (female) to 84 cm TL (male) (Kim et al. in prep.). Like other skates, this species is oviparous. Egg capsules measure about 11.3 cm long and 4.0 cm wide (C.H. Jeong unpublished data). The female releases the egg capsules on muddy and/or sandy substrate. No other information is currently available on this species' biology or ecology.
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Okamejei koreana is relatively high commercial fishery target species in southern region of South Korea. Flesh used for human consumption and sold at about US$10/kg in South Korea.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is both a target and utilised bycatch of commercial fisheries. Skates are targeted using set gillnets off southern Korea. Declining catches have led to a decrease in target fishing in recent years, but no species-specific data are available, so it is difficult to identify which species are involved. No information is currently available on the historical abundance of this species, although there is concern that it may have declined. It is rare throughout its relatively small geographic range, except in relatively narrow areas of habitat around the Jeju Strait and the southern Heuksan-do Islands (southeastern Korea).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are currently no conservation actions for this species. Research is urgently required on its abundance, interaction with fisheries and full range, including species-specific monitoring of catches.

Citation: Jeong, C.-H. & Ishihara, H.I. 2009. Hongeo koreana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 September 2014.
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