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Winter Skate (Leucoraja Ocellata)


Global Range

Winter skate are restricted to the northwest Atlantic (Scott and Scott, 1988). They are found from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and southern Newfoundland to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (Robins and Ray, 1986) (Figure 2).

Canadian Range

The distribution of winter skate in Canadian waters is characterized by three concentrations, each of which is separated by a spatial disjunction in the locations in which skate have been captured by fisheries-independent research surveys (Figure 2). These areas of concentration occur in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, eastern Scotian Shelf, and, more broadly, in the Bay of Fundy, western Scotian Shelf and on the Canadian portion of Georges Bank (Simon et al., 2003). Winter skate are rare in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence, southern Newfoundland waters, and along the southern edge of the Grand Bank (Simon et al., 2003). Approximately 50% of the species’ global range occurs in Canadian waters.