The Black Dogfish is a deep-water shark found below 275 metres in the Atlantic Ocean. It has a widespread distribution and is native to Greenland, Canada, the United States, Iceland, South Africa, and other countries around the eastern, western and central Atlantic Ocean.
Belonging to the Etmopteridae family (lantern sharks), Black Dogfish have luminescent organs in their skin.
As a relatively small species, the Black Dogfish is approximately 15 cm long at birth, reaches maturity at 58-70 cm, and can grow to 107 cm long. They are ovoviviparous (producing eggs within the maternal body that hatch within the body or immediately after release) and have at least 14 pups in a litter.
The Black Dogfish is found in ocean temperatures of 3.5-4.5 degrees Celsius and can be seen segregated by sex and size, as well as by movement into shallower water and increase in school size.
Conservation and Tourism
Recent population trends in parts of the Northwest Atlantic for this species appear stable and the IUCN Redlist for Endangered Species has listed the Black Dogfish under Least Concern. It is also included in the total allowable catch (TCA) set for deep-water sharks by the ICES in the Northeast Atlantic.
This species is frequently taken as by-catch in deep-water trawl and longline fisheries in the northeast Atlantic, and by a number of fisheries in the northwest Atlantic. In particular, the Greenland halibut, crab, redfish, monkfish and witch fisheries have totalled 68 thousand by-catch removals for this species between 1996 and 2005.
The IUCN Redlist for Endangered Species recommends that “more information on biology, ecology and importance in fisheries are required to further assess future conservation needs.”
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