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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Spiny Dogfish - stock status report

Marine Fisheries

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Dogfish

Spiny Dogfish

Stock Status – Viable – The Transboundary Resource Assessment Committee (TRAC) conducted a peer– reviewed benchmark stock assessment for spiny dogfish in January 2010. Although the TRAC was unable to agree upon a revised assessment model they were able to accept a newly defined biomass target of 159,288 metric tons (351,169,928 lbs.), based on analysis of information in the TRAC assessment. The result of this most recent stock assessment considers the spiny dogfish stock rebuilt for the purpose of U.S. management. A 15,000,000 lb. quota was established for 2010/2011 fishing year (May 1 – April 30) with a 3,000– lb. trip limit. The 2011/2012 quota was increased to 20 million lbs coastwide with 14.036% or 2,807,200 lbs. allocated to North Carolina, an increase of 407,200 lbs. from the 2010/2011 fishing season.

Average Commercial Landings 2001– 2010 and Value – 398,653 lbs./$55,551

2010 Commercial Landings and Value – 1,708,437 lbs./$256,512 (quota managed)

Average Recreational Landings 2001– 2010 – 3,963 lbs., 2010 – 16,435 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 ASMFC Spiny Dogfish Board established a quota of 12,000,000 lbs. for the 2009/2010 fishing year. Under Addendum II, the quota was allocated with 58% to states from Maine through Connecticut, 26% to New York through Virginia, and 16% to North Carolina. Under Addendum III, allocations remain the same for states from Maine through Connecticut (58%), but separate state shares were created for New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, and include measures for rollovers, possession limits, quota transfers, and overages. In addition, states from Maine to Connecticut cannot exceed the maximum daily possession limits, whereas, the other states can set possession limits as they see fit for management. By default, Addendum III will expire after the 2013/2014 fishing season unless changes are made by the board.

Research and Data Needs – Discard mortality estimates; recreational harvest data; at– sea observer data; commercial fishery sampling, aging, and genetic studies

Current 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.

Harvest Season – The North Carolina commercial fishery occurs in the winter, from December to April, when spiny dogfish are in greatest abundance in local waters.

Size and Age at Maturity – Males: 23 inches total length (TL)/6 years; Females: 31 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 45o to 55o F. The spiny dogfish is 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, contactHolly White at Holly.White@ncdenr.gov or (252) 264-3911. 

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • (252) 726-7021 or 1-800-682-2632

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