Bathyraja kincaidii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Rajiformes Arhynchobatidae

Scientific Name: Bathyraja kincaidii (Garman, 1908)
Common Name(s):
English Sandpaper Skate
Taxonomic Notes: A separate species, the Bering skate (Bathyraja interrupta) resembles B. kincaidii and is common throughout the Bering Sea (Ebert 2003). These, and possibly other, Northeast/Eastern Central Pacific skates may represent a complex comprised of two to five different species within this range (D.A. Ebert unpubl. data). The systematics of this species is currently under investigation (D.A. Ebert pers. obs. 2007). This species has also been referred to as the Black Skate (Hart 1973, Gates and Frey 1974) or Bering Sea Skate (Ishihara and Ishiyama 1985).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2004-06-17
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Flammang, B.E., Ebert, D.A. & Cailliet, G.M.
Reviewer(s): Valenti, S.V. & Goldman, K.J. (Shark Red List Authority)
Bathyraja kincaidii is commonly found at depths of 200–500 m, but is usually found in deeper water in the southern portion of its range, possibly to 1,372 m. It is reported from the Gulf of Alaska to northern Baja California in the Eastern Pacific, although the distribution of this species is uncertain as it is often confused with the Bering Skate (Bathyraja interrupta) in the northern extent of its range. The species reaches 63 cm total length. B. kincaidii may be an occasional bycatch of fisheries operating within its range, but data to determine population trends for this species are not yet available. The larger, Longnose Skate (Raja rhina) occurs in a similar range and surveys and stock assessments suggest that populations of that species are stable. B. kincaidii is less abundant than the Longnose Skate. Given that this species may form part of a complex of skate species and that nothing is currently known of population trends, it is assessed as Data Deficient. Population trends should be monitored and the assessment revisited once further information becomes available.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Northeast and Eastern Central Pacific: ranges from the Gulf of Alaska to northern Baja California (Ebert 2003).
Countries occurrence:
Canada (British Columbia); United States (Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northeast
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):1372
Upper depth limit (metres):200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Scientific surveys suggest that this species is less abundant than the larger Longnose Skate (Raja rhina), which also occurs on the western coast of the USA (D.A. Ebert pers. comm.). Skates are generally not identified to species level and are often misidentified, precluding the collection of accurate species-specific catch data. Extensive surveys and collation of catch statistics for northeast and eastern central Pacific waters (including California, Oregon, and Washington) have been conducted. Further information should become available in the future, once analysis of this data is complete (D. Ebert pers. obs. 2007).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Sandpaper Skate is most commonly found between 200–500 m deep and is usually found in deeper water in the southern portion of its range, possibly to 1,372 m (Miller and Lea 1972, Ebert 2003). Male Sandpaper Skates reach sexual maturity around at 48 cm total length (TL) and reach a maximum length of 53 cm TL; females reach sexual maturity between 46–50 cm TL and a maximum length of 56 cm TL (Ebert 2003). Males and females mature at four years of age and the average reproductive period is estimated at 10 years of age (Perez 2005). It is an oviparous species, like other skates, producing one egg case per oviduct at a time and with a continuous reproductive cycle. Size at birth is 12–16 cm TL (Ebert 2003).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is not presently targeted by commercial fisheries or utilized for human consumption, but is an incidental catch in bottom trawl fisheries that operate within its range along the western coast of the USA.

Total annual commercial landings data into California for the grouped category ‘Skate, unspecified’ indicate that landings declined from ~577 t and ~633 t in 2000 and 2001 to ~82 t in 2002. Landings then fluctuated between ~125 t and ~95 t from 2003–2005 (California Department of Fish and Game 2007). However, the proportion of this species in the catches is not known. The trawl fishery in California has been slowly closing and a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) is being instigated, in response to declines in rockfish populations (D. Ebert pers. obs. 2007). Most trawlers now have to work in deeper water and mostly in central and northern California. Southern California is largely closed at this time (D. Ebert pers. obs. 2007). Effort in the trawl fishery in California waters has therefore reduced and not nearly as many are being taken as once might have been (D. Ebert pers. obs. 2007).

While no information is available on population trends for this species, recent stock assessments and surveys show that populations of the longnose skate Raja rhina (which is larger and possibly more vulnerable to depletion) appear to be stable (COSEWIC 2007, DFO 2007, D.A. Ebert pers comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: California’s Marine Life Protection Act, effective from 21st September 2007, establishes a Central Coast Region, composed of 29 marine protected areas (MPAs) off the state. (See: for further details). The 29 sites within the Central Coast MPA series represent approximately 204 square miles (roughly 18 percent) of state waters in the Central Coast Study Region. The implementation of these MPAs in currently ongoing. Southern California waters are largely closed to trawl fishing at this time (D. Ebert pes. obs. 2007).

Assessment and monitoring of catches of this species is required to determine future population trends.

Citation: Flammang, B.E., Ebert, D.A. & Cailliet, G.M. 2009. Bathyraja kincaidii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T161706A5485089. . Downloaded on 24 April 2018.
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