COSEWIC Assessments

COSEWIC Assessment Summary and Status Report: Spiny Dogfish Squalus acanthias - Atlantic population

Assessment Summary – April 2010

Common name
Spiny Dogfish - Atlantic population

Scientific name
Squalus acanthias

Special Concern

Reason for designation
This small shark is widely distributed in temperate regions of the world’s oceans and appears to be a habitat generalist. The Atlantic population occurs from Labrador to Cape Hatteras; in Canadian waters the species is most abundant in southwest Nova Scotia. An average of six pups are born every two years; the gestation period of 18-24 months is one of the longest known for any vertebrate. The species has few natural predators, but is subject to both targeted and bycatch fishing mortality. The species remains relatively abundant in Canadian waters, but low fecundity, long generation time (23 years), uncertainty regarding abundance of mature females, and demonstrated vulnerability to overfishing in adjacent U.S. waters are causes for concern.

Atlantic Ocean

Status history
Designated Special Concern in April 2010.


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Contact Person(s)

COSEWIC Secretariat
c/o Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0H3
Tel: 819-938-4125
Fax: 819-938-3984
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Related Species


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