IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category Year Assessed
Near Threatened Red List Criteria Version
Ungaro, N., Serena, F., Dulvy, N., Tinti, F., Bertozzi, M., Mancusi, C. & Notarbartolo di Sciara, G. Reviewer/s
Cavanagh, R.D., Kyne, P.M. & RL Expert Panel (Shark Red List Authority) Contributor/s Justification
The Speckled Ray (Raja polystigma
) is endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. This relatively small skate (60 cm TL) mainly inhabits soft bottoms on continental shelves at depths of 100?400 m. It has a wide distribution in the Mediterranean (mostly western and western central areas) where it is moderately common. In northern Mediterranean trawl surveys from 1994?1999, the Speckled Ray was captured in 171 out of 6,336 tows. The species is a bycatch in trawl nets, but is also fished with gillnets, longline and handline in artisanal fisheries and marketed along African coasts. Although nothing is known of the impact of fisheries or of temporal population trends, its entire area of occurrence lies within intensively trawled regions. Given this species? endemicity and that large areas of its range have been historically and are presently intensively fished, it is assessed as Near Threatened on the basis of suspected declines (close to meeting the criteria for Vulnerable A4d). Further information is required from the African coasts and possible misidentifications of this species with Spotted Ray (R. montagui
) off Italy are currently being investigated.