Data from the Northwest Atlantic suggests that the thorny skate began declining in the early 1980s and accelerated in the early 1990s (Burgess et al 2005). In US waters, dredging for scallops also poses a risk (Packer et al 2003). Additionally, a targeted fishery for the species emerged in Canada in order to meet a growing European demand for skate wings (Kulka et al 2009). Bycatch in Canadian waters occurs on the Scotian Shelf, though landings do not equal those of the targeted fishery (Kulka et al 2009).
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