NOAA Considering Letting Fishermen Take Endangered Skate

Barndoor skates.
Credit: NEFSC/NOAA

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Federal fishing managers are considering allowing commercial fishermen to take a species of endangered skate that is currently prohibited.

Fishermen catch skates for use as food and bait on both coasts. They are currently prohibited from possessing barndoor skates, or bringing them to shore. Barndoor skates are considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says proposed changes to the skate fishery include an allowance for limited possession of barndoor skates. The new rules weren’t yet in place on May 1, which was the start of the new fishing year, and the skates are still prohibited at the moment.

Barndoor skates are found from Canada to North Carolina. Their populations declined heavily decades ago due to overfishing, but they’ve recovered somewhat since.

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