Spiny dogfish
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Spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias

If you have eaten fish and chips in Europe, chances are very good that you have tasted spiny dogfish. This member of the shark family is a major commercial species on the other side of the Atlantic. Spiny dogfish are found in the western Atlantic Ocean from Greenland to Argentina and in the eastern Atlantic from Iceland and the northern Russian coast to South Africa, including the Mediterranean and Black Seas. In the western Pacific Ocean, spiny dogfish live from the Bering Sea to New Zealand while in the eastern Pacific, they are found from the Bering Sea to Chile. They are highly migratory and swim in large schools. Part of both their common and scientific names come from the sharp spines on their dorsal fins, which are the only threat this shark poses to humans. The average size of a spiny dogfish is about three feet, though some large females reach four feet. Spiny dogfish feed on schooling small pelagic fish such as herring. Spiny dogfish are considered overfished in U.S. waters and are subject to catch restrictions.

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