Cuckoo rays are a relatively small sized ray belonging to the skate family and are often marketed simply as skate wings. They are identified by 2 large, dark, false eyespots their sandy coloured back. They having a rough upper skin with large skin teeth along the tail. The cuckoo ray is one of 5 similar Rajid skate species found in our waters. Identification of rays is not easy so ray landing records are not usually accurately broken down to species level.
Skates and rays are slow growing, late maturing and lay a small number of eggs per year so are highly vulnerable to fishing pressure. This species is not actively targeted but significant quantities are caught as bycatch in trawl and net fisheries. Little is known about this species in terms of the stock levels but it does seem to be relatively healthy in Cornish waters.
Updated December 2020
Cornish vessels landing to Cornish ports
This species is caught using many methods but all are scored the same by Cornwall Good Seafood Guide.Learn more
Cornwall Good Seafood Guide rates fish on sustainability using a scale of 1 to 5.
1, 2 and 3 are recommended, Fish to avoid are rated 5.
We use the system devised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) so our scores are comparable with the scores produced by MCS for the UK and fisheries from all around the world. For more information on scoring click here.
A medium sized ray growing to a maximum length of 75cm. Cuckoo rays reach maturity at a length of around 60cm and an age of 4 to 5 years. They lay between 70 and 150 eggs per year. They are most commonly found at depths of 200m on sandy and muddy seabeds. They are found in shallower areas but the juveniles seem to prefer to spend their time in deep water.
Live oysters are mainly served raw. All you need is a knife, a bottle of good wine, and a little lemon or tobasco and away you go!