Common/Flapper Skate Distribution

Common Skate © Marc Dando.Now found mostly in northern Scotland and the north of Ireland, the range of the Common Skate is massively diminished. Once common around the entire British coastline, unsustainable levels of fishing throughout the 19th and 20th centuries decimated the species, with only a few strongholds now remaining.

Today the Common Skate is a Prohibited Species in commerical fisheries - with no targeting, retaining, transhipping or landing of the skate permitted. The Common Skate is also a key marine species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP), with management plans in place to encourage expansion of both range and population.

If you're lucky enough to be exploring the coastline of Orkney, Caithness or the north of Ireland, keep an eye out - with an approximate capsule length of 215mm, and a 'woody' appearance when dried out, Common Skate eggcases are very distinctive and often unmissable. This species is the world's largest skate - if you find an eggcase anywhere in the UK or Ireland, we'd love to hear about it.

Read the Shark Trust's Common Skate ID Guide to discover more about the biology and conservation of the Common Skate.


Distribution of Common/Flapper Skate Eggcases:

Red Pin.Species verified (photo or specimen seen by the Shark Trust)
Blue Pin.Species not verified
Yellow Pin.Underwater eggcase