Get Email Updates

Get Text Alerts

Sign up for recreational and commercial text alerts

Thorny Skate

Overview

Thorny Skate (Amblyraja radiata)

Thorny skates are easily identified by their prominent thorns--as many as 19--that stretch from the neck to the tail. They also have two or three large horns on each shoulder, and one in front of each eye and one behind it. 

Thorny skate is widely distributed within deeper waters of the North Atlantic. Its range spans from western Greenland (Davis Strait) and Hudson Bay, Canada to South Carolina in the Western North Atlantic and from Svalbard, Greenland, Iceland to the southwestern coasts of Ireland and England, also to the North Sea and western Baltic in the Eastern North Atlantic. Thorny skate have low productivity, though a higher rate of productivity compared to other elasmobranchs, with a generation time of approximately 16 years and a low rate of reproduction. These life history traits make the populations vulnerable to overfishing and slow to recover from depletion. 

Key Documents

If you have trouble accessing these documents, please contact Tara Trinko at 978-282-8477.