Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)
Several species of ray are often traded under the same name. Two North Sea species, the thornback ray and smalleyed ray, are on the IUCNIUCN:
International Union for the Conservation of Nature, an international institute for nature and natural resources. It is a partnership with both non-governmental organizations and governments. red list of endangered species. Rays are vulnerable to [fishing pressure], because the grow slowly have a low fecundity, and reach sexual maturity late. They get up to 50 years old, but due to the fishery in the North Sea, this age is not reached anymore. Rays are bycatch in the fishery on plaice and sole. There is evidence that they are often discarded.
In the [beam trawl] fishery more than 50% of the catch is discarded, of which the main part dies. The seafloor is ploughed by the heavy tickler chains that are used to get the flatfish out of the seafloor. The fuel usage is very high in this fishing method.
The management of rays is not effective and catches are often not registrated well, different species of sharks and rays are put in the same category. A decrease of the total bottom fishery intensity would be good for rays.