I remember watching a Fishing Programme with Paul Young in one of his Hooked on Fishing programmes, where he went Skate fishing with a Skate Conservation group, who were catching Skate and Tagging them then releasing them.
Now, this was several years ago, it would be hard to put a date on it, but, i will try to find out on Google.
The programme was filmed by Scottish Television in 1996.
Here is a link to the tv programme for anyone interested, if you need a Translator, Myself and Rodney can Translate for a reasonable fee
Obviously, some groups of fishermen have been aware of the decline in Skate and not just the Skate but other Rays and Sharks as well, for quite some time.
The SSACN (The Scottish Sea Angling Conservation N etwork) run a Shark tagging Programme, to try to gather more evidence to protect these species of fish.
It indeed would be a shame, to see these beautiful fish lost to us possibly forever.
Here is a link if you would like to know more about this project.