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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Skate

Marine Fisheries

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Skate

Skate

Raja eglanteria

Skates are triangular-shaped, disk-like fishes with long tails. The clearnose skate, the most common skate along the southeastern United States, inhabits shallow coastal waters. It is brown on the back with numerous black spots. The underside is white. As the name implies, the clearnose skate has translucent spaces on either side of the snout.

It is also called a briar skate because it has thornlike spines in a single row along the midridge of the back and in patches along the pectoral fins and near the eyes. These thorns are not poisonous, but could injure someone if they step on or pick up the skate.

Skate and rays are preyed upon by sharks and other large fishes and are often used in medical research.

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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