Eco-labeled Dogfish Fishery proposed for Alaska

Feasibility of a Spiny Dogfish Fishery in Alaska

Published by Alaska Sea Grant,
Fishlines Vol.31, No.10 October 2011

A few months ago Ph.D. student Jason R. Gasper successfully defended his thesis, Policy and Market Analysis of World Dogfish Fisheries and an Evaluation of the Feasibility of a Dogfish Fishery in Waters of Alaska, USA.

Spiny dogfish, a shark that grows to about four feet in length, is a valuable commodity on the global market and is captured worldwide. Currently there are no directed fisheries for this species in Alaska. Gasper suggests that a profitable Alaska fishery for spiny dogfish will require regulatory changes and improved stock assessment to allow a directed fishery, plus eco-labeling.

Gasper evaluated the spatial distribution of spiny dogfish in the Gulf of Alaska, summarized world markets and conditions that led to a decline in demand in Europe, and provided policy and market overview of dogfish fisheries in Alaska.

Gasper says media attention resulting from overfishing has reduced demand for dogfish products in Europe, the location of key markets for meat, and that regaining market share there will require eco-labeling to tell consumers about sustainable dogfish stocks. The need for eco-labeling in Asian countries is less clear due to unknown inter-Asian market channels for fins and meat and lack of information on consumer attitudes toward labels.

Gordon Kruse is Gasper’s major professor, and Alaska Sea Grant has funded some of Gasper’s student expenses. He is currently a natural resource management specialist in the NOAA Fisheries Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region.

Source: Alaska Sea Grant



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