Spiny Dogfish - 2013
Stock Status – Viable – Spiny dogfish were determined to be rebuilt in 2008 when spawning stock biomass (SSB) exceeded the target for the first time since ASMFC management began in 2002. Spawning stock biomass, estimated to be 169,415 mt, exceeded the target biomass for the fourth year in a row in 2011. Spiny dogfish quotas are set based on female SSB, the necessary spawning component for rebuilding and sustaining the population. Spiny dogfish management under rebuilt status allows managers to set quotas based on the fishing mortality target level to sustain the healthy population.
Average Commercial Landings 2003– 2012 and Value – 9,272,910 lbs/$1,580,026
2012 Commercial Landings and Value – 2,728,882 lbs/$640,820 (quota managed)
Average Recreational Landings 2003–2012 – 4,003 lbs, 2012 – 712 lbs
Status of Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) – In North Carolina, spiny dogfish are currently included in the Interjurisdictional FMP, which defers to Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC)/Mid– Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (MAFMC)/New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) FMP compliance requirements. Spiny dogfish are currently managed under the joint MAFMC and NEFMC FMP in federal waters (3–200 miles) and the ASMFC Spiny Dogfish Interstate FMP in state waters (0–3 miles). The 2002 FMP established the annual quota and possession limit system, Addendum I allowed the Board to set multi-year specifications, Addendum II established regional allocation of the annual quota with 58% to states from Maine to Connecticut, Addendum III established state shares for New York to North Carolina, and Addendum IV addressed the differences in the definitions of overfishing between the NEFMC, MAFMC and ASMFC. The Spiny Dogfish and Coastal Sharks Management Board adopted the fishing mortality threshold presented in Addendum IV to be consistent with the federal plan.
Research and Data Needs – Determine area, season, and gear specific discard mortality estimates in the recreational, commercial, and non-directed fisheries; monitor the level of effort and harvest in the other fisheries; characterize and quantify bycatch of spiny dogfish in other fisheries; increase observer trips to document the level of incidental capture during the spawning stock rebuilding period; conduct a coast wide tagging study to explore stock structure, migration, and mixing rates; standardize age determination along the entire East Coast.
2012 Regulations – Spiny dogfish are quota managed species with harvest periods and trip limits in federal waters and through regional and state quota allocations in state waters. The ASMFC Spiny Dogfish and Coastal Sharks Management Board approved a 35.6 million pound quota for the 2012/2013 fishing season (May 1, 2012 – April 30, 2013). North Carolina received 14.036% or 5,030,854 pounds of the southern regions allocation. North Carolina set our trip limit at 5,000 pounds per day.
Harvest Season – The North Carolina commercial fishery occurs from December to April, when spiny dogfish are in greatest abundance in local waters.
Size and Age at Maturity – Males: 23.6 inches total length (TL)/6 years; Females: 29.5 – 31.5 inches TL/12 years. Size and age at maturity estimates vary due to different aging techniques.
Historical and Current Maximum Age – Males: 35 years; Females: 40 years. Historical ages are variable due to different aging techniques used. Annual formation of rings on the second dorsal spine has been validated with a bomb radiocarbon assay for spiny dogfish.
Juvenile Abundance Index – Not available
Habits and Habitats – Spiny dogfish are found on both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in temperate and subarctic waters. In the northwest Atlantic, they range from Labrador to Florida, but are most abundant from Nova Scotia to Cape Hatteras. They migrate seasonally, moving into North Carolina waters in the winter, then moving north in the spring. The preferred water temperature is 45 degrees to 55 degrees F. Spiny dogfish are a relatively long– lived, slow– growing animal reaching a maximum size of approximately four feet. The spiny dogfish gives birth to live pups. The gestation period is approximately 22 months with 2 to 15 pups produced (average of 6). Fecundity increases with fish length.
For more information, contact Holly White at Holly.White@ncdenr.gov or 252-473-5734