Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found on the continental slope (Ref. 9661). Oviparous (Ref. 50449). Eggs have horn-like projections on the shell (Ref. 205).
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Distribution

Range Description

Pacific White Skate is reported to have a patchy distribution from Cocos Island, Costa Rica to Port Waldport, Oregon, USA (Ebert 2003, Ebert pers. obs. 2007, Dolganov 1999, Fedorov et al. 2003). The distribution of this species remains unclear as previous descriptions of this species included the Galpagos Islands, however it appears that Pacific White Skate is not found here, and this error may actually be referring to the confirmed record of this species off the Cocos Island, Costa Rica (Beebe and Tee-Van 1941, J.D. McEachran pers. comm. 2007). Additionally, the reported presence of Pacific White Skate in the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia may actually be a different species (Ebert 2003).

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Pacific: Galapagos Islands (Ref. 9261). Reported from the Sea of Okhotsk (Ref. 41724).
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North Pacific.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 1500 mm TL
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Max. size

150 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 9261))
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This is one of the deepest living skate species occurring from 800-2,906 m on the western US coast continental slope (Ebert 2003). In the Sea of Okhotsk, the depth range is 1,2502,025 m (Dudnik and Dolganov 1992). Photos taken by ROVs often show this species swimming 13 m off the bottom over rocky substrates (D. Ebert pers. obs. 2007).

Pacific White Skate attains a maximum length of at least 203 cm total length (TL) (Dolganov and Tuponogov 1999). Like other skates, reproduction is oviparous (Ebert 2003). An egg case measured 9.2 cm length and 6.65 cm width (Ebert and Davis 2007). Size at birth is reported at ~26 cm TL (Ebert 2003).

Systems
  • Marine
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Depth range based on 36 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 36 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1400 - 2743.76
  Temperature range (°C): 1.763 - 3.310
  Nitrate (umol/L): 39.898 - 42.507
  Salinity (PPS): 34.600 - 34.641
  Oxygen (ml/l): 1.517 - 2.352
  Phosphate (umol/l): 2.903 - 3.033
  Silicate (umol/l): 126.632 - 181.171

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 1400 - 2743.76

Temperature range (°C): 1.763 - 3.310

Nitrate (umol/L): 39.898 - 42.507

Salinity (PPS): 34.600 - 34.641

Oxygen (ml/l): 1.517 - 2.352

Phosphate (umol/l): 2.903 - 3.033

Silicate (umol/l): 126.632 - 181.171
 
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Environment

bathydemersal; marine; depth range 800 - 2938 m (Ref. 50610)
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Depth range based on 36 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 36 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1400 - 2743.76
  Temperature range (°C): 1.763 - 3.310
  Nitrate (umol/L): 39.898 - 42.507
  Salinity (PPS): 34.600 - 34.641
  Oxygen (ml/l): 1.517 - 2.352
  Phosphate (umol/l): 2.903 - 3.033
  Silicate (umol/l): 126.632 - 181.171

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 1400 - 2743.76

Temperature range (°C): 1.763 - 3.310

Nitrate (umol/L): 39.898 - 42.507

Salinity (PPS): 34.600 - 34.641

Oxygen (ml/l): 1.517 - 2.352

Phosphate (umol/l): 2.903 - 3.033

Silicate (umol/l): 126.632 - 181.171
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Oviparous, paired eggs are laid. Embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449). Eggs have horn-like projections on the shell (Ref. 205).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Bathyraja spinosissima

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2015

Assessor/s
Provost, C., Ebert, D.A. & Orlov, A.

Reviewer/s
Matta, M.E., Jang, J.J. & Reichert, A.N.

Contributor/s

Justification
Pacific White Skate (Bathyraja spinosissima) is a large, rarely encountered deepwater skate, known only from a few scattered specimens from Cocos Island, Costa Rica to Port Waldport, Oregon, USA. This species has been incorrectly reported to occur in the Galpagos Islands, however it appears that Pacific White Skate is not found here. It has also been reported in the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia, but this may actually be a different species. It is one of the deepest living skate species, occurring to nearly 3,000 m depth, beyond the reach of most trawl operations. Remotely Operated Vehicle footage taken off of central California suggests that this species lives on rocky substrate, which also precludes it being caught by trawl fisheries. The expansion of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in 2009 to include the Davidson Seamount also offers protection to this species, as it is known to inhabit these waters. Given that this skate lives in deep and rocky habitat that is largely outside of the reach and interest of current fisheries, and that it is rarely captured, Pacific White Skate is assessed as Least Concern. However, deepsea fisheries should be monitored for continued expansion, as even low levels of bycatch may be unsustainable for this species.

History
  • 2009
    Least Concern (LC)
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Population

Population

In the waters of the west coast of the United States, Pacific White Skate is known mostly from photographs from remotely operated vehicle (ROV) surveys and perhaps only about 46 specimens have been captured (Ebert pers. obs. 2007). This species appears to be uncommon in the Sea of Okhotsk according to bottom trawl survey data, as it was caught in only 2.3% of 257 hauls in a deepwater survey in 1999 at depths down to 2,000 m (Dudnik and Dolganov 1992).


Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Pacific White Skate is known only from a few scattered records throughout its range. Reportedly it occurs to nearly 3,000 m which is beyond the depth range of most trawl operations. Videotape footage of this species from 1,875 m deep off central California suggest that it lives on rocky substrate that also precludes its being caught by trawl fishing operations (D. Ebert pers obs. 2007).
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions

The Davidson Seamount, located 75 km off the central Californian Coast, was added to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in 2009. This seamount is within the known range of Pacific White Skate. At present, the species occurs mainly beyond the depth of fishing operations on rocky untrawlable substrate. It is unlikely then, that deep bottom trawl fisheries will develop in the area; however the situation should be monitored. Like other large deepwater skates, this species is probably intrinsically vulnerable to population depletion and therefore bycatch would be of concern. However, it is presently rarely encountered. Further specimens are required for research on Pacific White Skate biology, and genetics and to confirm its distribution.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest
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Wikipedia

Pacific white skate

"White skate" may also refer to Rostroraja alba.

The Pacific white skate (Bathyraja spinosissima) is a species of skate, family Rajidae. It is one of the deepest-living of all skates, occurring at a depth of 800 to 2,938 m on the continental slope. It is native to the southeast Pacific Ocean from the Galapagos Islands to off Waldport, Oregon; an egg case and embryo has been collected from the Farallon Islands off San Francisco. Reports of it from the Sea of Okhotsk may represent a different species. Its species name, spinosissima, comes from the Latin spinosus meaning "thorny", referring to its covering of dermal denticles.[1]

The flattened pectoral fin disc of the Pacific white skate is slightly wider than long, with broadly rounded tips. The disc is covered with numerous small denticles above and below, giving it a shagreen-like texture. Adult males possess alar spines (on the dorsal surface of the pectoral fins near the tips). The tail is slightly longer than the disc, bearing a single median row of 23-29 thorns and two similar-sized dorsal fins near the end without an interdorsal thorn. The caudal fin is long and taperine, with a filamentous fold on its upper surface. Its teeth number 34 in the upper jaw and 23 in the lower. This species is a uniform pale to salty gray above and below, with dusky outer disc margins.[1]

The Pacific white skate feeds on benthic fishes. Like other skates they are oviparous; the egg cases are olive green in color and longitudinally striated, with horn-like projections on the shell. The size at birth is about 25 cm; the maximum known size is 1.5 m. They are of no commercial interest but are occasionally taken as by-catch.[1][2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Ebert, D.A. (2003). Sharks, Rays, and Chimaeras of California. London: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-23484-7. 
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2008). "Bathyraja spinosissimus" in FishBase. November 2008 version.
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