Get Email Updates

Prohibited Skate Species

There are currently three species of skates in the Northeast Skate Complex that are prohibited. Please refer to the following descriptions to avoid possessing or landing prohibited skate species.

Barndoor Skate

Barndoor Skate (Dipturus laevis)

Currently permitted on a provisional level of up to 25% of commercial catch in the directed skate wing fishery

Prohibited throughout the Skate Management Unit beyond the provisional catch status. See Barndoor Skate Information Page for more information.

Range: Canada to North Carolina, rarely south of Hudson Canyon.

Depth: 0-235 fathoms, common 25-50 fathoms on Georges Bank.

Max Length: 60 in (152 cm).

Features: Very Pointed snout; reddish brown on top/gray on bottom; small dark spots covering body; and no spines on wings.


Thorny Skate

Thorny Skate (Amblyraja radiata)

Prohibited throughout the Skate Management Unit.

Other Names: Mud Skate, Starry Skate.

Range: Greenland to South Carolina.

Depth: 10-545 fathoms, common in 50+ fathoms in the Gulf of Maine.

Max Length: 41 in (104 cm).

Features: Large thorns along back and shoulders; brown/grayish body surface; tail shorter than body.


 Smooth Skate

Smooth Skate (Malacoraja senta)

Prohibited in the Gulf of Maine Regulated Mesh Area.

Other Names: Prickly Skate, Smooth Tailed Skate.

Range: Canada to South Carolina, rarely South of Georges Bank.

Depth: 25-500 fathoms, common in 50+ fathoms in the Gulf of Maine.

Max Length: 26 in (64 cm).

Features: Pointed snout; no hard spines on wings; pale brown coloration.