Caught as bycatch in demersal trawl fisheries but is also fished with gillnets, longline and handline in artisanal fisheries (Bauchot 1987). There is a high level of exploitation over the continental shelf and upper slope, down to a depth of 800 m in the Mediterranean Sea (Massuti and Moranta 2003). Benthic trawl effort has increased both numerically and in technological terms in the shelf and slope area of the Mediterranean over the last 50 years. For example, the Gulf of Lions area was initially exploited by small-scale benthic trawl fisheries comprising 27 small low powered boats (total nominal horse power of 2,700 hp), more recently effort has increased to a total nominal horse power of 19,940 hp (1974?1987) (Aldebert 1997). Raja polystigma is known to be retained and marketed along the African coasts of the Mediterranean, where both trawl and artisanal fisheries operate (Bauchot 1987). This species is rarely landed in Italian Seas and it is not possible to monitor catches (C. Mancusi pers. obs.).