Seasearch Ireland are collaborating with The Ray Project on their skate habitat project. We have been supplying the Ray team with photos and detailed habitat descriptions of all our skate and ray sightings to help aid their research of nursery habitats and biodiversity of the native Irish skates that are in desperate need of protection.
Skates, more commonly known as rays, are a demersal fish that lay eggs on the seabed in shallow waters. Each species of skate is believed to have different nursery habitats; their behaviour and specific environment are still lacking in understanding. Over 70% of Irish native skates are classed as Near Threatened, Endangered or Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List, local extinction is believed to be imminent for many species unless we can protect their breeding grounds.
If you have any photos of skates and rays in Irish waters or would like to know more about skates and rays in general and would like to get involved with The Ray Project please contact Maya Harries at firstname.lastname@example.org or through their social media links below.
2 thoughts on “Seasearch Ireland and The Ray Project”
Dr Collins here at QUB, saw the Facebook post about the ray project. I’d be keen to find out more. My team is the largest skate research group in Europe – we currently run acoustic arrays for flapper skate in Clew Bay, the Maidens Islands and support the Islay Skate MPA in Scotland. We are also coordinating the regional flapper skate working group, leading the population genetics study of flapper skate around Ireland , assessing the effects of catch/release angling. More pertinently we are running quite a few egg-laying site mapping projects, most notably with the Orkney Skate Trust/WWF/Nature Scotland around Orkney (next spring). We are developing best practices protocols for divers/citizen scientists for egg-laying site mapping with the Scottish government, perhaps we could share these with you, to standardise approaches (much better in the long run). Anyway, excellent to see some more people interested in skate and ray conservation in Ireland.
All the best
The protocols for divers/citizen scientists for egg-laying site mapping sound really interesting I’ll be in touch via email.