Skate (Raja australis), or whai of the Maoris, is easily distinguishable from other rays by its comparative thinness, long pointed snout, two dorsal fins on the tail, and the absence of the long bony tail spine. It is light brown, mottled, and spotted with dark brown. It is usually from 20 in. to 3 ft in length and is considered a good food fish. It is especially common in the waters of Hawke's Bay and Eastern Otago.
by Arthur William Baden Powell, Assistant Director, Auckland Institute and Museum.