Habitat & Distribution
This, the largest and heaviest European ray, lives mainly between 90-220m depth.
Populations occur offshore of the Isles of Scilly, western and northern Ireland and western Scotland. Elsewhere it occurs from northern Morocco north through to Iceland. During the 1960s young specimens were regularly caught by anglers off the north coast of Cornwall, between Portreath and Newquay, otherwise it has only rarely been recorded for the county. Once found all around the coasts of Britain and Ireland except for south-east England, this species has disappeared from its former range due to fishing pressure. Previously listed on the IUCN Red List as ' Endangered' it is now considered to be ' Critically Endangered' (CRA2 bcd + 4bcd) due to its continued population decline. It is on the UK and OSPAR Lists of Priority Species and has also been proposed for protection under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act (1981).