Rajella fyllae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Rajiformes Rajidae

Scientific Name: Rajella fyllae (Lütken, 1887)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Round Skate, Round Ray, Sandy Skate
French Raie Ronde
Spanish Raya Redonda
Breviraja marklei McEachran & Miyake, 1987
Raja fyllae Lütken, 1887
Taxonomic Notes: Breviraja marklei McEachran & Miyake, 1987 is a synonym of Rajella fyllae (J. McEachran pers. comm. 2008).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-01
Assessor(s): Kulka, D.W., Barker, A.S., Orlov, A. & Pasolini, P.
Reviewer(s): Dulvy, N.K. & Valenti, S.V. (Shark Red List Authority)
This small species is widely distributed in the deeper shelf and upper slope waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, at depths of 170–2,050 m. This is a small-bodied species which may have moderate to high population growth rates and thus be fairly resilient to low levels of exploitation. It is taken as bycatch by trawl and longline fisheries operating in the North Atlantic and is discarded. The species’ wide depth distribution offers refuge beyond the deepest depths reached by trawl fisheries, at present. Available data on trends in abundance suggest that the population is relatively stable at present, and possibly increasing in some areas, and the species is assessed as Least Concern. Given that fisheries are known to operate at depths at which the species is most abundant, bycatch levels should be monitored. If fisheries expand further throughout its depth range, this assessment should be revisited in the near term.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Northeast Atlantic: from the southeastern part of the Barents Sea (Novaya Zemliya Islands, Russia) to southern Norway, southern Greenland, Iceland, Faeroe Islands to Shetlands, western coasts of British Isles and Bay of Biscay (Stehmann and Bürkel 1984).

Northwest Atlantic: from Greenland to Nova Scotia, Canada, including the Labrador Shelf, Grand Banks and the French Territory of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Gulf of St Lawrence and the Scotian Shelf (Leim and Scott 1966; Stehmann and Bürkel 1984; D. Kulka, pers. obs.).
Countries occurrence:
Canada (Labrador, New Brunswick, Newfoundland I, Nova Scotia); Faroe Islands; Greenland; Iceland; Norway; Russian Federation (West Siberia); Spain (Spain (mainland)); United Kingdom
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – northwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):2050
Upper depth limit (metres):170
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population on the Grand Banks and Labrador Shelf has been stable since the 1970s, possibly increasing in recent years (D. Kulka pers. obs. 2007).

Catch data from trawl and longline fisheries operating in the Barents sea, indicate that this species was taken at depths of <500 to 600 m and was not taken at depths >700 m. Average catch rate in the trawl fishery was 3 kg per hour haul (0.3% of the catch) and the maximum catch rate was <40 kg per hour haul (Dolgov et al. 2005). The species’ abundance in this area appears relatively stable in recent years.

In Norwegian waters this species is especially abundant in the Skagerrak and off southwestern Norway. During a scientific trawl survey in the Norwegian waters in 1984–1987 this species occurred in 107 of the 639 trawls and with a concentration of catches off southern and southwestern Norway and at depths >240 m. The species was less common on the Norwegian Sea slope, a chartered trawler cruise fished the slope waters in December 1995 recorded only a single specimen (Skjæraasen and Bergstad 2001).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is bathydemersal, occurring in deeper shelf and slope waters between 170 and 2,050 m depth. Average depth of capture was about 400–800 m in the Northeast Atlantic and >500 m in the Northwest Atlantic. Very little is known of the biology, but data from the Northwest Atlantic indicate that females are mature at 49 to 50 cm total length (TL) (n=3) and males at 44–47 cm TL (n=4) (D. Kulka pers. obs. 2006). Maximum recorded size is 57 cm TL (Dolgov et al. 2005). Size at birth is estimated at <11 cm TL.

The species inhabits waters with bottom temperatures >10°C with maximum abundance between 4°C and 60°C (Dolgov et al. 2005, D. Kulka pers. obs. 2006). Prey includes benthic invertebrates (mostly shrimps and polychaetes) and fishery discards (Dolgov 2005). Reproduction is oviparous, like other skates.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Presently, there are no directed fisheries for this species. It is captured incidentally in deepwater fisheries using trawls, longlines and gillnets on both sides of the Atlantic that operate within range of this species, and discarded. This species is one of three dominant skates taken as bycatch in trawl and longline fisheries operating in the Barents Sea, at depths of <300 to >800 m (Dolgov et al. 2005).

Although fisheries operate in parts of its range, the species wide depth distribution offers it refuge beyond the reach of most trawl fisheries in areas of its range. Furthermore, deep sea effort in the northwest Atlantic is regulated by quota and is presently much lower than during the 1960s to the 1990s.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no regulations related to this species.

Citation: Kulka, D.W., Barker, A.S., Orlov, A. & Pasolini, P. 2009. Rajella fyllae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T161587A5458368. . Downloaded on 16 October 2018.
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