Map_thumbnail_large_font

Raja montagui

Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_onStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_offStatus_en_offStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES RAJIDAE

Scientific Name: Raja montagui
Species Authority: Fowler, 1910
Common Name(s):
English Spotted Ray, Spotted Skate
French Raie Douce
Spanish Raya Pintada
Taxonomic Notes: No recent synonyms. In terms of identification, juvenile spotted rays can be confused with the morphologically similar blonde ray (Raja brachyura) and thornback ray (Raja clavata). Some spotted rays have fewer spots that are concentrated in the centres of the wings and can be misidentified as cuckoo rays (Leucoraja naevus).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Ellis, J., Ungaro,N., Serena,F., Dulvy,N.,Tinti,F., Bertozzi, M., Pasolini, P., Mancusi,C. & Noarbartolo di Sciara, G.
Reviewer(s): Cavanagh, R.D., Kulka, D.W. & Valenti, S.V. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
This small skate is widespread in the inshore waters and shallow shelf seas of the Northeast Atlantic and is common throughout the Mediterranean Sea, particularly in the east (Aegean Sea) and the western central area (coasts of Tyrrhenia, Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily). The bulk of the population appears to exist between 100 and 500 m in the Mediterranean. Populations of Raja montagui appear to be stable throughout its range despite being commonly landed in fisheries. Their small body size is likely to mean this species has greater resilience to fishing impacts compared to larger-bodied skate species. R. montagui is common in landings from fisheries and trawl surveys throughout much of the Northeast Atlantic and although accurate species-specific landings data are not available, catch rates in fishery-independent surveys indicate that catches are stable, possibly increasing in certain areas. It is also captured in trawl fisheries as bycatch in the Mediterranean and although temporal fluctuations of the abundance have occurred, populations appear to be stable in most parts of the Mediterranean. Therefore this species is assessed as Least Concern. Given intense trawling pressure within its range, future trends and bycatch levels should be closely monitored.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Widely distributed in the Northeast Atlantic, ranging from Morocco in the south to the Shetland Isles and Skagerrak and Kattegat in the north, including the Mediterranean Sea (Stehmann and Burkel 1984, Bauchot 1987). Within the Northeastern Atlantic it tends to occur in inshore waters and shallow shelf seas, in depths of 8 to 283 m (Ellis et al., 2005a), though it is most abundant in waters less than 100 m. Juveniles tend to occur closer inshore on sandy sediments, with adults also common further offshore on sand and coarse sand-gravel substrates.
Countries:
Native:
Belgium; Denmark; France; Germany; Ireland; Morocco; Netherlands; Norway; Portugal; Spain; Sweden; United Kingdom
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – eastern central; Atlantic – northeast; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: No formal stock assessments have been undertaken for this species. R. monatgui is common in landings and trawl surveys throughout much of its range and although accurate species-specific landings data are not available catch rates in fishery-independent surveys indicate that catches are stable, possibly increasing in certain areas. Catch rates in beam trawl surveys in the English Channel and Irish Sea appear steady in recent times (Ellis et al. 2005b), and IBTS data in the North Sea are also relatively stable (ICES 2006). These catch rates refer to all individuals caught and not just mature fish. This species is common throughout the Mediterranean Sea, particularly in the eastern area (Aegean Sea) and the western central area (coasts of Tyrrhenia, Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily). The overall biomass index assessed with the Mediterranean International Trawl Surveys (MEDITS) (0 to 800 m deep) in the west, north and eastern Mediterranean was 1.7kg/km² (Baino et al. 2001). This species has been captured in 107 out of 6,336 survey tows between 1994 and 1999 and its estimated standing stock biomass throughout the survey region is 882 t (Baino et al. 2001). Historically this species was very rare in the Adriatic Sea (Jukic-Peladic et al. 2001, Marano et al. in press).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Raja montagui is most common on sandy sediments in coastal and shelf seas (Ellis et al. 2005a), though may occur deeper in the southern parts of its range. Raja montagui is found at intermediate depths on the shallow shelf and was captured in the MEDITS surveys at depths between 28 to 530 m, but the bulk of the population appears to exist between 100 to 500 m (Baino et al. 2001). Adults have an average total length of 60 cm (Bauchot 1987), and the maximum recorded length is 80 cm (Ellis et al. 2005b). Maximum fecundity of approximately 60 to 70 (Holden et al. 1971, Walker 1999). Juveniles feed on small crustaceans (amphipods, natantids), with larger individuals predating on larger crustaceans, and fishes. Basic information on their reproductive biology is available, though better data on fecundity are required.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Rajids are an important component of demersal fisheries in the Northeast Atlantic and R. montagui is landed and sold (Dulvy et al. 2000, Holden 1977). As one of the smaller rays in the Northeast Atlantic, it is not targeted, though larger individuals are landed as by-catch in mixed trawl fisheries. The small body size of R. montagui is likely to mean they have greater resilience fishing impacts compared to larger-bodied skate species. The Mediterranean Sea is intensively trawled for commercial fishing at depths ranging from 50 to 700 m (Colloca et al. 2003). R. montagui is captured in Mediterranean trawl fisheries as bycatch and although temporal fluctuations of the abundance have occurred, populations appear to be stable in most parts of the Mediterranean (Relini et al. 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There is a minimum landing size of 40 cm disc width for skates and rays caught in some of the inshore waters of England and Wales, through local Sea Fishery Committee bylaws. Though there are no species-specific management measures for this species, there is a TAC for skates and rays in the North Sea and adjacent waters, and they may benefit from more generic management measures for demersal fisheries (e.g., size restriction, effort reduction).

Citation: Ellis, J., Ungaro,N., Serena,F., Dulvy,N.,Tinti,F., Bertozzi, M., Pasolini, P., Mancusi,C. & Noarbartolo di Sciara, G. 2007. Raja montagui. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 29 August 2014.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please fill in the feedback form so that we can correct or extend the information provided