Jan 04 2008

A rare and vulnerable ray – The Norwegian skate

Published by at 6:44 pm under Fish and fishing

The Norwegian skate ( Raja nidarosiensis / Dipturus nidarosiensis) is a rare fish in the northeastern part of the Atlantic Ocean. In Norway this black ray is probably the rarest fish along the coast (except from species that accidentally visit the coats – like the bluefin tuna). The Norwegian skate lives on deep waters and they don’t move far from their “home”. A Norwegian – Torstein Halstensen – has caught several rays and tagged them. He is amazed by the fact that every time he gets a tagged ray on the line it is on the exact same place where it first was tagged.

Norwegian skate. Photo: Torstein Halstensen

The Norwegian skate is know from only a handful of locations along the Norwegian coast. Only one is official (in Trondheimsfjorden). Torstein Halsensen keep his knowledge to himself. He know that the Norwegian skate is a popular specie for sport fishermen. The small populations of these rays will soon be over fished if their locations were announced.

All the rays Torstein catch with his long line are set free after Torstein has taken some biological samples and tagged them. His genuine interest and concern for this ray are of great importance for the small populations of this rare fish. Private initiative and concern for the marine life give us knowledge about the variety of life in the sea and how to behave to make this variety last. Torstein is also fishing and tagging halibut.

Black ray caught on line. Photo: Torstein Halsensen

Photos: Torstein Halstensen.

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