Certifier : 
MRAG Americas, Inc.
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
30 Aug 2012
Certificate expires : 
21 Nov 2023


This US fishery was certified as sustainable in 2012.

It targets the spiny dogfish in the Northwest Atlantic, up to 200 nautical miles from the US coast. It’s the most abundant shark in this part of the ocean, and one of the most highly migratory demersal sharks. During spring and autumn the species concentrates in coastal waters between North Carolina and southern New England, and migrates northward to the Gulf of Maine-Georges Bank region. They return southward in autumn and winter.

Spiny dogfish school by size until maturity, when they school by size and sex. Growth is slow, with 50 per cent maturity in females reached at a length of 82cm and an age of 16 years. For males, the relative measures are 64cm and 10 years. They are found in a wide range of bottom water temperatures in the northwest Atlantic, ranging between 0°C and 17°C. The species has been caught near shore to as deep as 730m, although it is most commonly observed at depths of 50-200m. 

The fish are caught with three kinds of gear: otter trawls, long lines and gill nets.

Spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthiasimage © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book