Based on the latest stock assessments of spiny dogfish, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has approved a quota of about 38.2 million pounds of the small shark — about 900,000 pounds less than the quota for the current year. It’s also more than dogfish harvesters usually catch.
Fishery Management Plan Coordinator Max Appelman says that’s because of market demand, rather than how many fish are available.
“Fishermen routinely report to me that they have no problem catching their trip limits, it’s just once they get to shore there’s no one who wants to buy it,” he says.
Appelman says that may stem from what he calls the global misconception that all shark fishing is bad.
“But there are a number of well-managed, sustainable shark fisheries, especially in the U.S. — dogfish being one of them,” he says.
While there’s not much demand for spiny dogfish here, Europeans do commonly serve it in as the prime ingredient in fish and chips.