Mr Doug Cooper (CCAMLR Secretariat)
Current CCAMLR maturity stages for skates (Rajiformes) use a three-stage key. As such, important elements of the reproductive cycle may go unrecorded, including females in the process of egg-laying. Additionally, the current description of females at stage 2 (maturing) in the CCAMLR observer manual could lead to some confusion between fish at stage 2 and stage 3 (mature). Suggestions for updating the descriptions of the maturity stages for skates are provided, as is a rationale for considering a four-stage key that allows for the collection of data for fish that are at active stages of the reproductive cycle.