Seamount egg-laying grounds of the deep-water skate Bathyraja richardsoni

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Highly localized concentrations of elasmobranch egg capsules of the deep-water skate Bathyraja richardsoni were discovered during the first remotely operated vehicle (ROV) survey of the Hebrides Terrace Seamount in the Rockall Trough, north-east Atlantic Ocean. Conductivity-temperature-depth profiling indicated that the eggs were bathed in a specific environmental niche of well-oxygenated waters between 4·20 and 4·55° C, and salinity 34·95-35·06, on a coarse to fine-grained sandy seabed on the seamount's eastern flank, whereas a second type of egg capsule (possibly belonging to the skate Dipturus sp.) was recorded exclusively amongst the reef-building stony coral Solenosmilia variabilis. The depths of both egg-laying habitats (1489-1580m) provide a de facto refuge from fisheries mortality for younger life stages of these skates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1473-1481
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Issue number2
Early online date3 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Deep sea
  • Elasmobranch
  • Environment
  • Habitat
  • Reproduction


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