Small-eyed ray is a small species of ray which is a member of the skate family, like all skates it lays eggs and has a spiny tail that lacks a sting. It is commonly marketed as skate wings. This species is commonly found around the north coast of Cornwall and is abundant in the Bristol channel. It is easily identified by its colour a sandy background with pale lines running parallel with the front edges of the wings.
Stocks of all skates and rays are poorly studied in our area but the latest advice from ICES scientists is that stocks of small-eyed ray are declining and they advise landings are reduced by 36% in 2015. The International Conservation Union (IUCN) have rated the species as "Near Threatened" in the northeast Atlantic. It is not recommended that you buy skate wings that are smaller than 22cm.
Cornish boats landing to Cornish ports
This species is caught using many methods but for this species all are scored the same by Cornwall Good Seafood Guide.Learn more
Cornwall Good Seafood Guide rates fish on sustainability using a scale of 1 to 5.
1, 2 and 3 are recommended, Fish to avoid are rated 5.
We use the system devised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) so our scores are comparable with the scores produced by MCS for the UK and fisheries from all around the world. For more information on scoring click here.
Small-eyed rays belong to the Rajidae family which includes skates and rays. Small-eyed rays are a small to medium sized inshore and coastal species, attaining a maximum length of 80 to 90cm and weight of 8kg. All skates are slow growing and produce few eggs per year compared to commercially targeted fin fish. Males and females mature from 44 to 58cm in length. Age at maturity and maximum age is unknown. Small-eyed rays produce between 54 and 61 eggs per year. They have a high level of biological vulnerability 62/100 Cheung et all 2005. (www.fishbase.org)
The state of the stock in this area is unknown. ICES has not defined reference points for this stock and there is no analytical assessment presented for it. Abundance for this stock is however estimated to have decreased and ICES advises that landings should be reduced by 36%. This implies landings of 188t in each of 2015 and 2016. Over the past 7 years or more the North Devon Fishermen's Association (NDFA) have collected species-specific landings data for small-eyed and other ray species in the Bristol Channel. This data reports that landings are increasing despite reduced effort in the fishery suggesting the small-eyed ray population in the fished area is stable and the fishery sustainable. Small-eyed ray represents about 28% of the total ray species landed by the NDFA in 2013. The International Conservation Union (IUCN) have rated the species as "Near Threatened" in the Northeast Atlantic.
This simple dish is delicous and easy to prepair. And is best using fresh cornish squid!