The spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) is a coastal squaloid shark with a circumboreal distribution. In addition to being the most abundant shark in the western North Atlantic, it is also one of the most highly migratory species¹. Dogfish range from Labrador to Florida, but are most abundant from Nova Scotia to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina². The spiny dogfish travels in schools of hundreds or thousands of individuals.
The spiny dogfish is slow to mature and is thus vulnerable to overfishing. It has one of the longest gestation periods of any vertebrate animal, produces small litters of pups, and is slow growing.
In spite of its precarious situation, it remains one of the most abundant shark species in the world.
¹ Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder. 1953. Fishes of the Gulf of Maine. U. S. Fish Wildl. Serv., Fish. Bull. 53. 577 p.
² Rago, J.P., K. Sosebee, J. Brodziak, and E.D. Anderson. 1994. Distribution and dynamics of northwest Atlantic spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias). Northeast Fish. Sci. Cent. Ref. Doc. 94-19.