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Bathyraja smirnovi

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES ARHYNCHOBATIDAE

Scientific Name: Bathyraja smirnovi
Species Authority: (Soldatov & Pavlenko, 1915)
Common Name(s):
English Golden Skate
Synonym(s):
Raja smirnovi Soldatov & Pavlenko, 1915
Taxonomic Notes: Bathyraja smirnovi has been misidentified with other Bathyraja spp. (Ishihara 1990). Several recently published papers discussed the possibility that B. smirnovi is a synonym of B. parmifera (Dolganov and Tuponogov 1999, Parin 2001). This is still not resolved (Sheiko and Fedorov 2000, Ishihara pers. obs.) and taxonomy remains uncertain.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2007-07-09
Assessor(s): Ishihara, H. & Orlov, A.M.
Reviewer(s): Valenti, S.V. & Musick, J.A. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
The Golden Skate (Bathyraja smirnovi) is an apparently common, large (to at least 116 cm TL) species of deepwater skate, found in the Northwest Pacific from the northern part of the Sea of Japan to the western Bering Sea, through the Sea of Okhotsk. It occurs at depths of 100–1,125 m on the continental shelf and slope. It is a common utilized bycatch in bottom trawl and longline fisheries for cod, spiny dogfish and anglerfish, however, these fisheries reportedly only operate in the upper part of this species’ bathymetric distribution. No data are currently available on catch levels, but the species is assessed as Least Concern because the majority of the population is considered to have refuge beyond the range of current fisheries. Species-specific monitoring is required to determine catch levels and trends. If fisheries expand further across this species’ range, or if a target fishery was to develop, then this assessment should be revisited.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Northwest Pacific: occurs from the northern part of the Sea of Japan to the western Bering Sea, through the Sea of Okhotsk. In Japanese waters of the Sea of Japan it is distributed south to Oki Island and in Russian waters from Peter Great Bay to Tatarsky Strait. Records of this species from the Pacific coast of Hokkaido (Nagasawa and Torisawa 1991) require confirmation (Ishihara pers. obs. 2004).

The geographic range of the Gloden Skate requires further study, its taxonomy remains uncertain and it has been misidentified with Alaska Skate (Bathyraja parmifera). This skate has not been listed among species found in Russian waters (Sokolovskaya et al. 1998, Parin 2001). However, according to Ishihara (1990) and Novikov et al. (2002) Golden Skate occurs in the northwest Pacific from the northern part of the Sea of Japan to the western Bering Sea, through the Sea of Okhotsk. In Japanese waters of the Sea of Japan it is distributed south to Oki Island and in Russian waters from Peter Great Bay to Tatarsky Strait. Records of this species from the Pacific coast of Hokkaido (Nagasawa and Torisawa 1991) require confirmation (Ishihara pers. obs. 2004).
Countries:
Native:
Japan (Honshu); Russian Federation (East European Russia)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – northwest
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: A common and dominant skate species in the Sea of Japan (Ishihara 1990). Also common in the Sea of Okhotsk and Bering Sea (Novikov et al. 2002). No other information on the population of this species is available. Its taxonomy remains uncertain and it has been misidentified with Alaska Skate (Bathyraja parmifera), thus populations of this species are uncertain.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs at depths of 100–1,125 m (Ishihara 1990). This species is born at around 22 cm total length (TL) (Ishihara 1990) and is thought to reach a maximum size of 116 cm TL (Ishiyama 1958). Estimates for size at maturity have been made at 100 and 92 cm TL for males and females respectively (Ishihara 1990). Very little information on species ecology and biology is available. In Japanese waters this species preys mostly upon crustaceans (shrimps and crabs), octopus and fish (Japanese sardine, Pacific saury, Japanese horse mackerel, and rockfish) (Ishihara 1990).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: When caught as bycatch in bottom trawl and longline fisheries, this species is thought to generally be discarded, particularly in Russian fisheries. However, in Japan the whole animal is often are marketed fresh (about 200 US$ per kilogram) for human consumption, where it is used for cooking of traditional Japanese dishes and for processing to “kamaboko” (crab sticks).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is a common bycatch of bottom trawl and longline fisheries in the Sea of Japan. It is taken regularly in Japanese fisheries as bycatch of bottom trawl fisheries targeting cod, spiny dogfish and angler fish, and retained for human consumption. Although it is a common bycatch component, fisheries are reportedly only operating in the upper part of this species’ bathymetric distribution, placing the majority of the population outside the range of current fisheries (H. Ishihara and A. Orlov pers. obs. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no conservation measures in place for this species. Catches and population trends need to be carefully monitored. Further research on the taxonomy of this species is also required.

Citation: Ishihara, H. & Orlov, A.M. 2009. Bathyraja smirnovi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 September 2014.
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