Who let the dogfish out? A review of management and socio-economic aspects of spiny dogfish fisheries

paper3Published online on 18. November 2014

Who let the dogfish out? A review of management and socio-economic aspects of spiny dogfish fisheries

Andrea Dell’Apa, Charles W. Bangley, Roger A. Rulifson


Multi-scaled integrated analysis across biological, economic, social, and political aspects of fisheries is needed to provide effective management strategies. These aspects are naturally conflicting and, when converged into objectives, are seldom optimized at the same time scale. For example, biological objectives are usually considered in the long-term, whereas socio-economic and political objectives are commonly considered in the short-term. Additionally, fishery managers have frequently struggled to integrate different information arising from each aspect of fishery management. The employment of integrative analysis to shark fishery management is particularly needed because of the unique biology and life history characteristics of sharks, and the increasing threat of human exploitation that affects their conservation status. One species that may serve as a model for the intersection of the myriad of aspects of elasmobranch management is the spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias). This commercial shark species was recently considered, unsuccessfully, for inclusion in trade-regulation lists due to international concern about its conservation status. The need to provide thorough integration of biology, life history, and ecology of spiny dogfish with information concerning the commercial trade, socio-economic, and political aspects of the fishery has now reached a critical juncture. We attempt to provide such an integration in this paper. First, we review basic biology and life history characteristics of spiny dogfish and then integrate this information into aspects of the international trade for the species. This is done using the framework of two of the most significant fishery management governance systems affecting the international management of the species and its conservation status (i.e., the Magnuson–Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in the USA, and the Common Fisheries Policy in the European Union). Our analysis indicates that to achieve effective fishery management of spiny dogfish stocks and populations at international, national, regional, and local levels there is still the need to understand and integrate socio-economic, political and ecosystem-based aspects outside the framework of national fishery jurisdictions.

Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, Nov 2014,
DOI 10.1007/s11160-014-9379-1



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