There are no fish of the Atlantic right now, but they are a popular tourist attraction, thanks to the booming catch of skate fish.
And while skaters and fishermen may have enjoyed catching the fish, they have not had much luck finding them.
“It’s hard to say exactly how many fish are in the area, but the most popular place to catch them is on the beach in the summer, when there are no boats,” said Greg Côté, a fisheries scientist with the Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
“In the winter, we don’t have any fishing.”
In the summertime, Cômment says, the catch is usually about 40 per cent smaller.
The fish are more abundant in lakes and rivers, where they often swim up and down the banks.
A number of factors may have contributed to the decrease in skater fish.
One of the reasons why the fish have been so hard to find is the change in climate, which means that the water is warmer.
“We’ve always had a lot of skater fishing,” Cônment said.
“But now, in a warmer climate, it’s been much harder to catch these fish.”
There’s also a change in the way the sea water behaves.
“It’s not just the water.
The change in temperature also contributes to the decline in skaters. “
The sea level has been getting lower,” Cosell said.
The change in temperature also contributes to the decline in skaters.
“There is a trend where the ice is starting to melt and the water starts to rise,” he said.
The fish may be scarce, but not enough to satisfy the appetite of skaters for more.
Côtée is optimistic that the fish will rebound, as the warming climate brings more fish to the area.
But he does caution skaters not to rely on the fish to get by.
If skaters catch the fish now, they will likely not be able to catch the other fish, like mussels, which are easier to catch, Cosel said.
In the long run, he said, it may be better to find other species to take the fish.
But the fish that are more plentiful in the wild may not be worth the effort, Condreau said.
It’s a lot easier to find skater skates, he noted.
“They’re the fish you get for the price of fish that you’ll find in the store,” Cossette said.