Scientific name Rajidae
Higher classification Rajiformes
|Lower classifications Thornback ray, Raja, Dipturus, Common skate, Little skate|
Skates are cartilaginous fish belonging to the family Rajidae in the superorder Batoidea of rays. More than 200 species have been described, in 32 genera. The two subfamilies are Rajinae (hardnose skates) and Arhynchobatinae (softnose skates).
Skates have slow growth rates and, since they mature late, low reproductive rates. As a result, skates are vulnerable to overfishing and appear to have been overfished and are suffering reduced population levels in many parts of the world. The barndoor skate, Raja laevis, is currently listed with the IUCN as vulnerable due to being severely overfished. However, population data are lacking to determine the exploitation of the big skate at this time.
In 2010, Greenpeace International added the barndoor skate, bottlenose skate, spotback skate, and maltese skate to its seafood red list. "The Greenpeace International seafood red list is a list of fish that are commonly sold in supermarkets around the world, and which have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries."