Species Profile

Spiny Dogfish Atlantic population

Scientific Name: Squalus acanthias
Taxonomy Group: Fishes
Range: Atlantic Ocean
Last COSEWIC Assessment: April 2010
Last COSEWIC Designation: Special Concern
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status

Individuals of this species may be protected under Schedule 1 under another name; for more information see Schedule 1, the A-Z Species List, or if applicable, the Related Species table below.


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Protection

Federal Protection

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

5 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Spiny Dogfish Squalus acanthias, Atlantic population, in Canada (2010)

    Spiny Dogfish (Squalus acanthias) is an easily identified small shark, with spines in front of both dorsal fins. The colouration is typically grey-brown with irregular white spots on sides and back. In the northeast Atlantic, the species is commonly referred to as spurdog. In French it is known as aiguillat commun. This report treats the Atlantic Ocean population as a Designatable Unit (DU). The Pacific DU will be dealt with in a separate report.

COSEWIC Assessments

  • COSEWIC Assessment Summary and Status Report: Spiny Dogfish Squalus acanthias - Atlantic population (2010)

    Assessment Summary – April 2010 Common name Spiny Dogfish - Atlantic population Scientific name Squalus acanthias Status 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. Occurrence Atlantic Ocean Status history Designated Special Concern in April 2010.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Spiny Dogfish, Atlantic population (2010)

    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.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 (2010)

    Under Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. During the past year, COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings and reviewed the status of 79 wildlife species (species, subspecies, populations). During the meeting of November 2009, COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of the status of 28 wildlife species. COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of an additional 51 wildlife species (species, subspecies and populations) during their April 2010 meeting. For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern). The wildlife species assessment results for the 2009-2010 reporting period include the following: Extirpated: 6 Endangered: 39 Threatened: 16 Special Concern: 17 Data Deficient: 1 This report transmits to the Minister the status of 46 species newly classified as extirpated, endangered, threatened or of special concern, fulfilling COSEWIC’s obligations under SARA Section 24 and 25. A full detailed summary of the assessment for each species and the reason for the designation can be found in Appendix I of the attached report. Since its inception, COSEWIC has assessed 602 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 262 Endangered, 151 Threatened, 166 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated. In addition, 13 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct. Also, to date, 46 wildlife species have been identified by COSEWIC as Data Deficient and 166 wildlife species were assessed as Not at Risk. This year has been a particularly productive year for COSEWIC’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Subcommittee. In April 2010 COSEWIC approved the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Process and Protocol Guidelines, providing clear and agreed principles for the gathering of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge to carry out COSEWIC functions as required under Section 15(2) of SARA (See Appendix III of the attached report). We are grateful for the rich and enthusiastic contribution made by community elders and experts in helping the ATK Subcommittee prepare the ATK protocols.

Consultation Documents