A ray of hope? The re-appearance of Irish Sea skate decades after local extinction

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A 2019 photograph of a blue skate Dipturus batis caught in Welsh waters is the first species-specific evidence of the ‘common skate’ complex occurring in former range in the main body of the Irish Sea over four decades after it was considered to have been extirpated there. This possible precursor to recolonisation of former range adds to growing evidence for the recovery of skate species in the North Atlantic, and highlights the valuable role of anglers and social media as a complement to important yet costly scientific surveys when monitoring rare fishes.


  • conservation, Elasmobranch, Extinction, fisheries, Irish sea, species recovery
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1503-1505
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Issue number6
Early online date20 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

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