Winter Skate Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence population
Scientific Name: Leucoraja ocellata
Other/Previous Names: Winter Skate (Southern Gulf population)
Taxonomy Group: Fishes
Range: Atlantic Ocean
Last COSEWIC Assessment: May 2015
Last COSEWIC Designation: Non-active
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status
|Winter Skate ( Gulf of St. Lawrence population )||Endangered||No Status|
Image of Winter Skate
The winter skate is an ocean ground dwelling marine fish with a flattened body, large wing-like fins, a long slender tail, a rounded snout and spots on its back. In the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, winter skate mature and grow to considerably smaller sizes than anywhere else in their range. For example, female winter skate are mature by 42 cm in the southern Gulf, but 50% of winter skate are mature at 75 cm on the eastern Scotian Shelf.
In the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, winter skate occur in shallow inshore areas in summer and move offshore in winter. Species residences are protected under SARA. However, winter skate do not have any known dwelling-place similar to a den or nest during any part of their life cycle, hence the concept of “residence” does not apply.
Winter skate in the southern Gulf mature at a length of about 42 cm. This is much smaller than the length at maturity reported for winter skate elsewhere (75 cm). Age and growth data are not available for winter skate in the Gulf. Based on growth rates of little skate, which mature at about the same size as winter skate in the Gulf, a length at maturity of 42 cm would correspond to an age of 6 yr.
The decline in the abundance of winter skate appears to be caused by an increase in the natural mortality of adults (or unknown human-induced mortality that is interpreted as natural mortality in the population models). This increase in adult natural mortality occurred in the 1980s and 1990s when grey seal abundance also increased in the Gulf.
PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
7 record(s) found.
- COSEWIC Status Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Assessments (1 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (1 record(s) found.)
- Orders (2 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
COSEWIC Annual Reports
COSEWIC Annual Report - 2005 (2005)2005 Annual Report to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
Species at Risk Act - Legal Listing Consultation Workbook, Winter Skate (Leucoraja ocellata) Eastern Scotian Shelf Population; Georges Bank/Bay of Fundy/Western Scotian Shelf Population; Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Population (2005)Your opinion is being sought to assist the government of Canada in making an informed decision on whether to add the Winter Skate (Eastern Scotian Shelf Population; Georges Bank/Bay of Fundy/Western Scotian Shelf Population; Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Population) to the Schedule 1 (the List of Wildlife Species at Risk) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Your input on the impacts of adding this species to the List is important. This workbook has been developed to give you an opportunity to provide Fisheries and Oceans Canada with your feedback, advice, and other comments regarding adding this species to Schedule 1 of SARA (Schedule 1 identifies which species are legally protected under SARA).
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