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Monday, March 21, 2011

2011 Spiny Dogfish Quota Increased Proposed

NOAA’s Fisheries Service Proposes 33 Percent Increase for 2011 Spiny Dogfish Quota
The spiny dogfish has been blamed by many sport and recreational fisherman as a contributor to the decease in many bottom fish species due to their large numbers and voracious appetite.  Whether that claim is true or not has been a subject of debate between some fisherman and fisheries managers for quite a few years.

The announcement by NOAA Fisheries to increase the spiny dogfish quota by 33% is sure to be welcome news to the many anglers who regard this species a nuisance.  The few commercial fisherman who fish for them should enjoy the additional opportunity an increase in the harvest quota will bring.  Other commercial groundfish fishermen will welcome the additional income spiny dogfish will provide to their current fisheries.

The spiny dogfish is a small schooling shark that will form schools of thousands of individuals preying on any smaller fish in their path.  Once one of the most numerous shark in the ocean, the spiny dogfish was commercially fished to very low numbers prompting a call for international attention.

Though never highly regraded as a food fish in the US, the dogfish is marketed in Europe under various names and was a popular fish in England's fish & chip restaurants.  In France it was found in fish markets as samounette (small salmon).

NOAA Fisheries updated the stock assessment of spiny dogfish in the Fall of 2010 and determined that the fish was not being overfished and that the stocks were healthy.

Members of the public are invited to comment by April 18 by no later than 5:00 pm EDT:

Online: http://www.regulations.gov

Fax: 978–281–9135, Attn: Lindsey Feldman

Mail: Patricia A. Kurkul, regional administrator
NOAA’s Fisheries Service
Northeast Regional Office
55 Great Republic Drive,
Gloucester, MA 01930.
Mark the outside of the envelope: ''Comments on 2011 Dogfish Specifications.''

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