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Spiny Dogfish Squalus acanthias


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Spiny Dogfish
credit: Doug Costa

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Family: Squalidae, Dogfish Sharks view all from this family

Description Grayish brown with white spots along back; elongated. Distinguished by two spines (one anterior to each dorsal fin); lack anal fin. Caudal fin has asymmetrical lobes, forming a heterocercal tail. Males identifiable by a pair of pelvic fins.

Dimensions Up to 5' (1.5 m).

Related Species Pacific Sleeper Shark (Somniosus pacificus).

Similar Species Horn Shark (Heterodontus francisci).

Habitat Ocean or bay shallows, Open ocean.

Range New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, California, Northwest, Eastern Canada, Western Canada, Alaska.

Discussion Greenpeace International added the spiny dogfish to its seafood red list - since the species is a late maturing fish, it takes a while to rebuild the population, and have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries.