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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 29 Spiny Dogfish SSR 2016

Marine Fisheries

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Dogfish

Spiny Dogfish — 2016

Stock Status – Viable – The 2015 stock assessment update, conducted by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, estimates spiny dogfish along the Atlantic coast are not overfished and not experiencing overfishing. Female spawning stock biomass estimates from 2009 to 2015 exceeded the biomass reference point. The stock was declared rebuilt in 2008.

Average Commercial Landings 2006-2015 and Value 2,163,990 lbs./$297,067

2015 Commercial Landings and Value 4,247,213 lbs./$553,926 (quota managed)

Average Recreational Landings 2006-2015– 10,055 lbs., 2015 – 43,797 lbs.

Status of Fishery 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 2002 Spiny Dogfish Interstate FMP in state waters (0-3 miles). The FMP established the annual quota and possession limit system. Addendum I (2005) allowed the Board to set multi-year specifications. Under Addendum II, the quota was allocated with 58% to states from Maine through Connecticut. Addendum III (2011) established state shares for New York to North Carolina, and Addendum IV (2012) addressed the differences in the definitions of overfishing between the NEFMC, MAFMC and ASMFC. North Carolina is allocated 14.036% of the quota allocated to these states. The ASMFC Spiny Dogfish and Coastal Sharks Management Board adopted the fishing mortality threshold presented in Addendum IV to be consistent with the federal plan. Addendum V, approved in 2014, ensured consistency in spiny dogfish management with the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 by prohibiting processing at-sea, including the removal of fins.

Research and Data Needs – Determine area, season, and gear specific discard mortality estimates in the recreational, commercial, and non-directed fisheries; continue work on the change-in-ratio estimators for mortality rates and suggest several options for analyses; 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.

2015 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 40.0 million pound quota for the 2015/2016 fishing season (May 1, 2015-April 30, 2016). North Carolina received 14.036% or 4,967,130 pounds of the southern regions allocation. The NCDMF set the trip limit at 20,000 pounds effective May 1, 2015.

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.

Maximum Age Males: 35 years; Females: 40 years. Ages are variable due to different aging techniques used. Annual formation of rings on the second dorsal spine of spiny dogfish has been validated with a bomb radiocarbon assay.

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° to 55° 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 Beth Egbert at Beth.Egbert@ncdenr.gov or 252-473-5734

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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