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Most Commonly Asked Questions




Ray and Skate Research


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What are some research projects that scientists are currently involved in to learn more about rays and skates?

There are many ongoing studies and research initiatives looking at the life history of rays and skates. These studies will assist governmental agencies with fisheries quotas and conservation policies in regards to these animals. At the Florida Program for Shark Research, we are tagging and tracking rays in some of the waterways along the coast of Florida. The data from this project will assist in the identification of daily and seasonal movements of the tagged rays within these waterways. In addition this study will allow us to compare the movements of pelagic (cownose rays and spotted eagle rays) and benthic species (bluntnose rays and smooth butterfly rays). Water quality measurements recorded at monitoring stations on a regular basis throughout the year will be used to determine if the rays' movements can be correlated to environmental cues. For more information on this research please visit: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/fpsr/tag.htm.

The Pacific Shark Research Center (PSRC) at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in California is involved with studies on the reproductive biology of skates and the feeding ecology of rays and skates in the Pacific Ocean. Research at the PSRC also includes reviewing the taxonomic classification of skates. For more information on this research please visit: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/nsrc/moss.htm.

At the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, biologist are investigating the age and growth of a skate species that has declined more than 95% due to take as bycatch in the groundfisheries (New England). Data collected will assist with the governmental prepartion of the "Skate Management Plan". For more information on this research please visit: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/nsrc/vims.htm.


Answers by:
Cathleen Bester