Notoraja azurea 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Rajiformes Arhynchobatidae

Scientific Name: Notoraja azurea
Species Authority: McEachran & Last, 2008
Common Name(s):
English Blue Skate
Taxonomic Notes: The Blue Skate (Notoraja azurea) is a recently described species of Notoraja first recognized as distinct by Last and Stevens (1994). There is some regional variation in color pattern and meristics of this species that could result in separate species being described (Last and Stevens 2009).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-02-19
Assessor(s): James, K.C. & Ebert, D.A.
Reviewer(s): Walls, R.H.L. & Kyne, P.M.
Contributor(s): Walls, R.H.L. & Kyne, P.M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.
The Blue Skate (Notoraja azurea) was recently described from southern Australia and Tasmania. It has a wide geographic range across temperate Australia in deepwater (765 to 1,440 m). There is little to no deepwater fishing at the depths where this species occurs in southern Australia and Tasmania. Part of its range also lies within marine protected areas, so there is little threat and it is therefore listed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2011 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Blue Skate is recognized from along the southern coast of Australia from Perth, Western Australia (~32ºS, 116ºE) to the Solitary Islands, New South Wales (~30ºS, 153ºE) including Tasmanian waters (McEachran and Last 2008, Last and Stevens 2009).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – southwest
Lower depth limit (metres): 1440
Upper depth limit (metres): 765
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no information on population size or structure. The species is widely distributed throughout temperate Australian waters (Last and Stevens 2009).
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This skate is known from 840 to 1,120 m off southern continental Australia and 765 to 1,440 m off Tasmania. Largest observed size was a female at 64.5 cm total length (TL) (McEachran and Last 2008). Smallest mature male observed at 53.5 cm TL and smallest free-swimming individual at 19.3 cm TL (McEachran and Last 2008). Assumed to be oviparous (like other skates).

Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no known use or trade of this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known threats to this skate given most areas deeper than 700 m off southern Australia are closed to trawling (Moore and Curtotti 2014) and that the South Tasman Rise Fishery was closed in 2007 (Patterson and Mazur 2014).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This skate is protected mostly by the closure of areas below 700 m to trawling (Moore and Curtotti 2014). Its geographic range also overlaps several marine protected areas in southern Australia including the Great Australian Bight Marine Park and the South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network (Moore and Curtotti 2014, Patterson and Mazur 2014). If the South Tasman Rise Fishery were to re-open, it could pose a threat to this species in terms of incidental catch.

Citation: James, K.C. & Ebert, D.A. 2015. Notoraja azurea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T195465A68637112. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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