Common name: Bight Skate. Scientific name: Dipturus gudgeri. Family: Rajidae.

Bight Skate: A slow growing, large and late maturing skate lives in quite deep waters from about 150m to 700m on the continental shelf from New South Wales to Western Australia – including Tasmania. They live for at least 16 years.

There is not a lot know about the biology of the skate and it could be solitary as an adult and tends to be patchy in distribution.

This species is impacted by trawling but also occupies large areas of lightly-trawled to non-fished grounds along the southern and southwestern coast of Australia. Semi-virgin populations occur in the Great Australian Bight.

Females grow to about a maximum size of 185cm in length and males 156cm.

*Some of the information above is from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


  1. You gotta love a fish that packs flat. I like the euphemistic ‘impacted upon by trawling’. It leaves the genteel reader in no disturbed state, and is akin to the way more familiar animals, like cattle, sheep and chickens, are ‘processed’. Talk about skating around the issue. Sidney Nolan, I think (or was it Boyd?) did a series of paintings of skate. One wonders what Fred Williams might have made of their flattened, yet undulating, horizontal forms. In Asia they traditionally make a good curry, but should not be frozen as they tent to go rather amoniac. Then there are the ‘sting rays’, a fascinating (one might say striking) bunch whose barbed tails tell many a story. One only has to think of ‘Sting Ray Bay’ to see how early on in the annals of the English wave of settlement this fish made its mark.

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