At a glance

Eco-rating Mercury Omega-3s


The winter skate prefers gravelly and sandy bottoms in shallower northern waters. To ward off predators and attack prey, it shoots out a pulse of electricity that stuns them. It is used only for the manufacture of fishmeal and grows to over 3 feet (0.9 meter) in length.

Commercial Sources

Winter skate are found in the western North Atlantic, from the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada to North Carolina.

The main source of winter skate is the United States.

Capture Methods

Winter skate come from marine fisheries, not fish farms. They are primarily caught with bottom trawls and gillnets. Additional types of fishing gear include hooks-and-lines.

Recommended servings per month

Contaminant Men Women Kids 6-12 Kids 0-5
Skate Mercury 4+ 4+ 4+ 3
Eco details: 

Winter skates are a long-lived, slow-maturing species that have few offspring. Juvenile winter skates are often caught by accident, since they resemble the more abundant little skate. Overall, populations are depleted and skate management in the U.S. is in an early stage.