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Longnose Skate - Photo by S. Axtell

Bottomfish Identification: Sharks, Skates and Ratfishes

This identification guide is intended to provide information and key characteristics for common species in Washington’s marine waters.  To access species information click on the common or scientific name listed in the left hand column.  For each species, information is available on expected sizes, typical distribution, and published ages. 

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife also provides information about shark identification at:

And skate identification at:

Additional identification information can be found at Fisheries and Oceans Canada:

Or at ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research:

Enjoy learning about Washington’s Sharks, Skates and Ratfishes!

Sharks, Skates and Ratfishes
Big Skate (Raja binoculata) Longnose Skate (Raja rhina)
Bluntnose Sixgill Shark (Hexanchus griseus) Sandpaper Skate (Bathyraja kincaidii)
Broadnose Sevengill Shark (Notorynchus cepedianus) Soupfin (Galeorhinus galeus)
Brown  Catshark (Apristurus brunneus) Spiny Dogfish (Squalus suckleyi)
California Skate (Raja inornata) Spotted Ratfish (Hydrolagus colliei)
Common Thresher Shark (Alopias vulpinus)