Interdisciplinary Assessment of the Skate Fishery in the Gulf of Alaska

Project Description

Skates are in growing demand worldwide, and there is increasing economic incentive for fishermen in Alaska to retain more skates for export to Asian and European countries. Before increasing the fishing pressure on these long-lived, late-maturing species, it is important to ensure that we can prosecute a skate fishery both sustainably and profitably for the health of our ecosystems and our fishing communities. To this end, we are conducting an interdisciplinary research project on the two most common skate species in the Gulf of Alaska, the big skate and the longnose skate. Knowledge gaps in the biology and ecology of skates are being addressed by a tag-recapture and satellite tagging program to better understand their movement patterns, population connectivity and habitat use. These data are being incorporated into the first age-structured stock assessment for these species, which is an essential management tool. Finally, we use this sustainable harvest information, along with market data, proxies for demand, costs and price, to produce a bioeconomic model that will examine the profitability of the skate fishery.

Project Funding

Alaska Sea Grant, NSF, Rasmuson Fisheries Research Center, Northern Gulf of Alaska Research Award
Amount: $250,000
Start Date: 2010-09-00
End Date: 2016-12-00



Research Team

Andrew "Andy" Seitz

Andrew "Andy" Seitz

Principal Investigator

Associate Professor


  • Fish behavior
  • Fish migration
  • Behavioral ecology
  • Electronic tagging

Full Profile
Thomas Farrugia

Thomas Farrugia

Co-Principal Investigator

Ph.D. Student