Orkney Skate Trust

Orkney Skate Trust
Cover Image © Orkney Skate Trust

The Orkney Skate Trust is a community group focused on the conservation of the critically endangered Flapper Skate, through a series of projects spanning tag and release angling to egg case research. The OST is at the forefront of research of this little understood yet precariously rare skate, with the data suggesting that the Orkney Islands offer a strategic refuge for the species. The OST is actively involved in data collection through diving and angling activity, as well as public engagement through community science projects such as egg case collections from shorelines.

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The Orkney Islands support the largest known skate in the world – The Flapper Skate. Orkney’s network of over 70 islands and skerries provide the perfect refuge – where the pristine marine environment gives optimum conditions for their survival.

Our ETHOS is CONSERVATION through RESEARCH and COLLABORATION to reverse the decline of this enigmatic apex predator of our seas. We believe that collectively the community and scientific institutions can work together to influence stake holders and policy makers, helping to PROTECT the Flapper Skate population and reverse the decline.

The Orkney Skate Trust is a constituted community group run using a standard format consisting of chairman, secretary and treasurer – along with committee / members. Membership is currently free and open to all. The Orkney Skate Trust strongly relies on the community to record findings and sighting of skate activity. We receive records from beach walkers, divers, anglers and generally people out and on the seas around Orkney and beyond. We record this information and it helps us to better understand how these rare fish are surviving and how best we might be able to assist with their survival.

The Orkney Skate Trust has the following goals:

 

Raise Awareness of the Critically Endangered Flapper Skate

Collect data on the biology and distribution of Flapper Skate in and around Orkney and the North of Scotland.

Partnership with Scientific Institutions to undertake and research Flapper Skate and publish results.

Provide free information on Flapper Skate to marine stakeholders, NGO and Government organisations to be used to influence marine planning and policy.

Support the community in citizen science, providing a platform for volunteers to become involved in marine science and field work.