Fisheries Program
Northeast Region
Spiny dogfish
Spiny dogfish

Spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias)

Life History

Spiny dogfish is estimated to live 30 to 40 years. Research has shown that they can migrate at far distances. Adults on average grow in length from 30-40 inches and can grow up to 50 inches and weigh 20 pounds.  Spiny dogfish are ovoviviparous, meaning the eggs are hatched within the body. Reproduction occurs during the winter. Male spiny dogfish reach sexual maturity at age ten, six years before females.


From Nova Scotia, Canada to northeast United States. There have also been confirmed Atlantic crossings with spiny dogfish tracked all the way to Iceland.

Fun Facts

  • Size of litter depends on size of the female with an average litter of 5-6 pups.
  • Spiny dogfish can survive warm or cold water temperatures.

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Last updated: December 16, 2011
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