This week Catherine Hollingdale shares her rare footage of two graceful Common Skate filmed at 30m at Kinlochbervie, Scotland.
As the largest species of skate in the world, the Common Skate is one of the largest creatures in British waters. They can grow to have a wingspan of up to eight or nine feet and weigh in excess of 250lbs, with skate of that scale thought to be around 70-years-old.
Catherine said: “During a weeks diving from Kinlochbervie, Scotland, we took the opportunity to explore some new sites. My buddy and I dropped into the clear water and as we descended I spotted an unusual shape on the sea bed below us.
“We descended to 30m where we began to admire this beautiful female common skate. As we were admiring her, what appeared to be her mate decided to swim past and check us out. He swam around for around 15 minutes before heading away. We then left his mate and continued our dive.
“The footage is extremely rare and we haven’t come across any other footage of two skate taken by divers.”
Hugely overfished for decades, Common Skate are by no means common these days and are now critically endangered. They were once widespread in the UK but populations have now diminished and become confined to the deep sea lochs west of Scotland and the west coast of Ireland.
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