Fisheries Infosite

Rough Skate 3, 4, 5 and 6 (Combined) (RSK3)
Maori name
Scientific name
Dipturus nasutus

Physical characteristics

Rough Skates are brown with multiple white spots on top and white undersides. As their name suggests, they have many small prickles covering their top surface that are more prominent on the males. Rough Skate can grow to a body length (not including tail) of 79 cm.

Life cycle

Rough Skate have a maximum age of 9 years. Maturity in females is reached at a length of 59 cm and 6 years of age. Males reach maturity at 52 cm and 4 years old. Rough Skate lay two eggs at a time in spring-summer, but it is not known how often this happens in a year.


Rough Skate are most commonly found around the South Island, but are known all around New Zealand. They are found on sandy or muddy bottom surfaces at depths down to 500 m.

Key statistics
Reported commercial catch1 (tonnes)
Quota value estimate2 (NZ$m)
Exports estimate2 (NZ$m)
1 Reported commercial catch is calculated for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025
2 Quota value and exports are calculated pro-rata to reported commercial catch for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025