Flapper Skate in our local Marine Protected Area

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On Saturday 25th November, Friends of the Sound of Jura hosted a talk by Dr James Thorburn from the University of St Andrews about his work on Flapper Skate in our local Marine Protected Area (MPA). The event, in Tayvallich Village Hall, was attended by more than 60 people, who were interested to find out more about the incredible marine life on their doorstep.

Dr Thorburn explained that the Flapper Skate, which is the largest in the world at up to 3 meters long, are estimated to live to over 100 years old. He has been working with local anglers and charter skippers, who began tagging skate over 40 years ago, as well as Scottish Natural Heritage and Marine Scotland, to find out more about how the Skate use the habitat and ensure that management measures are effective. He said, “The best thing about this MPA is the way in which all its users work together. Creel fishermen, scientists and anglers have all cooperated on this project.”

More information on the project is available here https://www.snh.scot/plants-animals-and-fungi/fish/sea-fish/flapper-skate

If the public find Skate egg cases on the beach, they can log them on the Shark Trust website, and so contribute further to our knowledge of this species.

The public can also contribute by sending any photos of skate they have to skates@sams.ac.uk

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The Sound of Jura is home to some of the most fascinating and diverse marine life in Scotland.  We seek to protect the Sound, the River Add and their local users from threats to the area’s wildlife and local sustainable economy.