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Disappearance of common skate Raia batis from Irish Sea


Records show that the common skate, Raia batis, has declined in abundance in the Irish Sea since the early years of the twentieth century, and is now very rare. As I report here, it is possible to calculate the highest mortality which the species will withstand without collapsing. It is likely that the mortality due to fishing has exceeded this level for some time and that the species will not recover while fishing continues. This represents the first clear case of a fish brought to the brink of extinction by commercial fishing.

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Brander, K. Disappearance of common skate Raia batis from Irish Sea. Nature 290, 48–49 (1981).

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