Okamejei arafurensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Rajiformes Rajidae

Scientific Name: Okamejei arafurensis Last & Gledhill, 2008
Common Name(s):
English Arafura Skate
Taxonomic Notes:

The Arafura Skate (Okamajei arafurensis) is a recently described species (Last and Gledhill 2008), not previously recognised. It is a new skate of the Indo–Pacific genus Okamejei. The species is morphologically similar to theYellow-spotted Skate (O. hollandi) from the western North Pacific and is also superficially similar to some Australian short-snout Dipturus species (Last and Gledhill 2008).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-04-28
Assessor(s): Awruch, C.A. & White, W.T.
Reviewer(s): Walls, R.H.L. & Kyne, P.M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.

The Arafura Skate (Okamejei arafurensis) is a small (to 50 cm total length), recently (2008) described skate occurring off northwest Australia at depths of about 180–300 m. It is presumably oviparous, as with other skates, though there is no information on ecology or life history. Despite this, its area of occurrence receives little demersal fishing effort, and with no significant threats apparent, an assessment of Least Concern is warranted. However, any future expansion of demersal trawling within its range may pose a risk given its limited geographic and bathymetric range.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

The Arafura Skate is found in an relatively restricted area off northwest Australia from southwest of Scott Reef, Western Australia (14°49′S, 121°34′E), northwards to the Arafura Sea, off the Northern Territory (09°00′S, 133°19′E) (Last and Gledhill 2008, Last and Stevens 2009).

Countries occurrence:
Australia (Northern Territory, Western Australia)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):298
Upper depth limit (metres):179
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are no details on population size, structure or trends for this species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This skate occurs near the continental shelf break at depths of 179–298 m (Last and Gledhill 2008). There are no specific details on habitat. The species attains about 50 cm total length (TL); males mature at 38–41 cm TL; adult females are larger than males (Last and Stevens 2009). This species is oviparous.


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This skate is not known to be utilized or traded.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is not known to be taken in fisheries or under any other major threat, but taking into account the restricted known range, any potential future threats need to be carefully managed.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No species-specific conservation actions are currently in place. Research is required to estimate abundance and examine life history traits.

Classifications [top]

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:No
  Occur in at least one PA:No
  Area based regional management plan:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:Not Applicable
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group. Specialist Group website. Available at:

Last, P.R. and Gledhill, D.C. 2008. Two new skates of the genus Okamejei (Rajoidei: Rajidae) from the south-east Indian Ocean. In: Last, P.R., White, W.T., Pogonoski, J.J. and Gledhill, D.C. (eds), Descriptions of New Australian Skates (Batoidea: Rajoidei), pp. 119-134. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper.

Last, P.R. and Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Second Edition. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.

Citation: Awruch, C.A. & White, W.T. 2015. Okamejei arafurensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T195469A68637757. . Downloaded on 22 April 2018.
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