Spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) is a small species of shark found in the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans, mostly in the temperate and subarctic areas. Spiny dogfish are slim, with a narrow, pointed snout and characteristic white spots. They have two dorsal fins with ungrooved large spines and are colored grey above and white below. Males grow up to 3.3 feet, and females grow up to 4 feet. Spiny dogfish are top-level predators and feed on a wide variety of small fish, crustaceans, jellyfish, squid, and other marine animals. They are found both inshore and offshore, usually near the bottom but also in mid-water and at the surface.
In federal waters, spiny dogfish are managed jointly by the the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils under a single fishery management plan (FMP). The primary management tool is the specification of an annual catch limit, which is allotted between two quota periods that divide up the fishing year. The harvest of spiny dogfish is also controlled through the establishment of trip limits, which limit the amount fishermen can harvest during a single fishing trip. The most recent stock assessment for spiny dogfish indicated that the stock is not overfished and is not experiencing overfishing.
Fishery Performance Reports and Information Documents
Fishery Management Plan and Amendments
Any upcoming meetings will be displayed below. Click here to view past spiny dogfish meetings.
Spiny Dogfish News
This summary highlights actions taken and issues considered at the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s October 2019 meeting in Durham, NC.
The Council's Spiny Dogfish AP will meet via webinar on Monday, August 19, 2019 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Council will hold a public webinar on Thursday, April 7, 2016 from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. to gather input on spiny dogfish trip limits.
The Council has revised the spiny dogfish specifications that were previously recommended for the 2016 fishing year.
The following summary highlights actions taken and issues considered at the Council’s meeting on October 6 – 8, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA.
At last week’s meeting in Philadelphia, the Council recommended a 50% reduction in the commercial quota for spiny dogfish next year.