B.C. Spiny Dogfish is MSC Certified

Of the 15 species of shark documented in BC coastal waters, the spiny dogfish is the most common. It is also the province’s most widely utilized fish:

The meat is sold to Europe, including as “rock salmon” for fish and chips in England, the belly flaps smoked and sold in Germany, the fins for Asian shark-fin soup, cartilage for health pills, and the remainder for organic fertilizer.

The UK’s Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has recently certified B.C.’s hook and line spiny dogfish fishery. This is the first shark fishery in the world to be deemed sustainable, and fitting global standards. According to MSC monitoring, they found the stocks to be healthy, have minimal ecosystem impacts, and practice precautionary fisheries management. There are annual audits to continuously monitor these standards, over the five year period of certification.
Spiny dogfish is available in most temperate waters all over the world, however Atlantic and North Sea spiny dogfish are highly endangered and at risk. And marine researchers like Nick Dulvy are cautious about this newly certified fishery:

Nick Dulvy, Canada research chair in marine biodiversity and conservation at Simon Fraser University, said dogfish stocks, especially in the Strait of Georgia, must continue to be carefully monitored in the future.

Dogfish take 35 years to become sexually mature. “They’ve got pretty much the longest pregnancy in the animal kingdom – two years at a time,” he added. “We have to be very careful. If we’re going to call them sustainable, I’d like to see much better monitoring.”

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