Thornback ray

Thornback ray, Raja clavata

IUCN Red List status: Near Threatened

Watercolour paint on paper

Artist: Emma Day

The Thornback ray is the most commonly encountered ray in British waters. They can grow up to 139cm long, weigh up to 18kg and live for around 15 years. They can be recognised by their distinctive kite-shaped body, blotchy brown or grey back, and collection of ‘thorns’ on their back and tail (the biggest thorns of any ray!). Thornback rays are caught by commercial and recreational fishers. Catches are limited by a mixed species quota. The Thornback ray is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. Like all ray species, thornbacks are vulnerable to overfishing since they are slow growing and late maturing.  Data source: The Marine Life Information NetworkThe Wildlife Trusts

About the artist: Emma used watercolour paints and pencils on watercolour paper to draw her fish. She enjoyed working with colour and seeing the transformation from the pencil to the paint-like texture when adding water.

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