Batoids (skates and stingrays) are currently considered one of the most threatened vertebrate groups.  Key threats include: habitat destruction, overfishing, coastal climate change and pollution.  As large and conspicuous predators, it is thought that skates and rays play a significant ecological role - helping maintain the health and integrity of the ecosystems in which they are found.  Despite this, however, there is a glaring lack of data available to improve their conservation and management within the Cape Whale Coast Hope Spot region.

Research Aims

#ProjectSkateRay is the newest addition to our research profile.  This project aims to:

  1. quantify the spatio-temporal variation in batoid communities along a 200km stretch of coastline;
  2. determine how batoids respond to changes in prey availability;
  3. determine how batoids respond to predation risk; and
  4. improve overall conservation and management of batoids along the Cape Whale Coast and South Africa.

Research Techniques

Research techniques employed for this project include:

  • baited remote underwater video (BRUV)
  • fishing surveys
  • mark-recapture studies
  • visual surveys
  • dietary analysis
  • telemetry.

#ProjectSkateRay currently supports one MSc project, although there is scope for future Post Graduate work.  If you are interested in pursuing research related to this project, Contact Us.