Sympterygia bonapartii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Sympterygia bonapartii
Species Authority: Müller & Henle, 1841
Common Name/s:
English Smallnose Fanskate
Spanish Raya, Raya Marmorada
Sympterygia bonapartei Müller & Henle, 1841

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor/s: Massa, A. & Lamilla, J.
Reviewer/s: Walker, T.I., Kyne, P.M., Cavanagh, R.D. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)
Sympterygia bonapartei is one of the most common elasmobranchs in the coastal and shelf waters (to 100 m) of the southern Southwest Atlantic. It is known from southern Brazil, Uruguay, northern Argentina and the Strait of Magellan (Chile). In Argentina, areas of abundance are associated with estuarine areas. The biology and ecology of this species is poorly known. Skates are becoming increasingly important in southwestern Atlantic fisheries. However, there is little information on the catch of this species in bycatch or targeted fisheries, and no information on the impact of fisheries on abundance. Until biological studies are undertaken and species-specific catch data are available for Argentina, Uruguay and Chile the species cannot be assessed beyond Data Deficient.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: On the Argentina shelf are two major areas of abundance of S. bonapartei, both clearly associated with estuarine zones. One is located in the La Plata River mouth with densities of up to 2·80 tonnes per km², and the other in front of Blanca and Anegada Bays (El Rincon area, densities up to 1·92 tonnes per km²) (Mabragaña et al. 2002)
Argentina; Brazil; Chile; Uruguay
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – southwest; Pacific – southeast
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The smallnose fanskate Sympterygia bonapartei is one of the most common elasmobranchs in coastal and shelf waters (from the shoreline down to 100 m depth) where it occurs.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Recorded in coastal and shelf waters from the shoreline to 100 m depth.

Biology and ecology poorly known.

In Argentina, size-at-first-maturity is 63.6 cm total length (TL) (females) and 65.0 cm TL (males) and maximum length is 88.0 cm TL (females) and 74.6 cm TL (males) (Mabragana et al. 2002). There is no other demographic information available for the species in the Southwest Atlantic and there is no demographic information available for the species in Chile.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): From Chile, there are no data on this species. In Uruguay, this species, along with Dipturus chilensis, Sympterygia acuta and Atlantoraja castelnaui are the main target species of a bottom longline fishery. Species-specific catch data are not available, but captures of this group of skates for the period 1999?2002 are estimated at 1,100 tonnes per year (Domingo, pers. comm.). In Argentina the species is part of the fishery for coastal skates. Species-specific catch data are not available.

All skate species are becoming increasingly important in Southwest Atlantic fisheries (Agnew et al. 1999, Massa et al. 2000). In Argentina, skates were discarded until 1994, but are now one of the most important commercial species. The fins at the distal margins are removed and sold mainly to Asian markets at high prices.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In Argentina the species is included in the annual maximum permitted catch (MPC) of the fishery for coastal skates, established by the Argentine fisheries authorities. In the last two years the landings were higher than this value, and at present this is not an adequate management measure. Species-specific catch data are required as at present all species of batoids are registered in the fishery statistics as "unidentified rays and skates". This applies to countries within the range of this species.
Citation: Massa, A. & Lamilla, J. 2004. Sympterygia bonapartii. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 16 April 2014.
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