IRELAND – Marine scientists working in the Celtic Sea have discovered a natural refuge for the critically endangered flapper skate.

Many elasmobranchs (sharks, rays and skates) are highly vulnerable to over-fishing, but a new paper in the open access journal PLoS ONE shows that small areas of the seabed that experience below-average fishing intensity can sustain greater populations of these species.

The study reveals that one remarkable area in the northeastern Celtic Sea, where uneven seabed makes trawling difficult, supports at least ten species of elasmobranch, including the rare blue skate (Dipturus flossada) and related flapper skate (Dipturus intermedia)…..

The Fish Site. 19/11/2012. Read the article. ‘Hard to Fish Areas of Seabed may act as refuges for endangered Skate’