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Spurdog (Spiny dogfish)
The slender looking spiny dogfish is distinguished from other species within the spurdog family by their two spines located at the front of each dorsal fin (two in total) and the absence of an anal fin. The tips of their dorsal fins are rounded and their snout pointed. Mature male can grow up to 1 meter whereas females can be as large as 1.59 meters! Their colouration is bluish-grey/brown on the dorsal side complimented by white spots which fade with age. The ventral side is light.
Spiny dog fish are found in temperate waters with the except of the (sub-Arctic) and there seven sub-populations! This species can be found from tens of meters to 900 (2953 ft)!
With a varied diet, spiny dogfish can be found eating crabs, squid, octopus, bony fish, sharks and more (even egg cases)!
This species hold different status’ in different parts of the globe. Worldwide the species is considered “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. In the Northeast Atlantic, they are listed as “Critically Endangered”. Furthermore, the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) lists Northern Hemisphere sub population of spiny dogfish under Annex I of the international instrument the “Migratory Shark Memorandum of Understanding”.
Spurdogs are known to be size and sex segregated and are found in dense foraging aggregations, therefore exposing them as vulnerable to fishing pressure by both target fisheries and as bycatch and are caught in a range of fishing gears. They are fished for food, leather and liver oil and used to make numerous products.
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