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Skates are cartilaginous fish belonging to the family Rajidae in the superorder Batoidea of rays. There are more than 200 described species in 27 genera. skates have slow growth rates and, since they mature late, low reproductive rates. As a result skates are vulnerable to overfishing and it appears that skates have been overfished and are suffering reduced population levels in many parts of the world. The barndoor skate, Raja laevis, is currently listed with the IUCN as vulnerable due to being severely overfished. However, population data is lacking to determine the exploitation of the big skate at this time.

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