Are Dogfish Running the Food Web?

When spiny dogfish come up in conversation, it’s usually in reference to their supposedly ravenous appetites and the possibility that they’re eating other, more economically valuable species out of the ecosystem.  Luckily for the very beginnings of my research career, this has lead to a…

Atlantic Spiny Dogfish Sustainability Certificate Suspended

In 2012, the Atlantic spiny dogfish fishery became one of the first shark fisheries to be certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (the first was another dogfish fishery, this one targeting North Pacific spiny dogfish in British Columbia waters).  The MSC is the…

Dogfish Stick Around in Back Sound and the Importance of Observations

This past week my latest paper, published in F1000 Research as part of their Elasmobranch Biology and Conservation collection, officially passed peer review.  This paper summarizes data collected from some spiny dogfish captured during the Back and Core Sound shark survey that seemed to be…

Perfect Little Killing Machines: The Jaws of Death

There’s a bit of a pardox of public opinion regarding the effectiveness of spiny dogfish as predators.  Depend on who you ask, they’re either forming a swimming wall of teeth annihilating everything in their path or they’re weak scavengers, poor excuses for sharks.  This much-maligned…

Perfect Little Killing Machines: an Introduction to the Series

Spiny dogfish have had a long history of interactions with humans.  These sharks, once reviled as pests, became valued food fish (particularly in Europe), were declared overfished, rebounded much more quickly than expected, and are now targeted by a certified sustainable fishery on the U.S….

Summer of the Shark: Spring Cleaning

Well, that brief break from blogging escalated quickly.  Between a number of housecleaning tasks (both literal and metaphorical) and the onset of field season, I managed to let an entire month slip by without posting.  Which is not to say post-worthy things didn’t happen.  To…

Dogfish Don’t Eat As Much As You Think They Do

It’s been a long time coming, but the work I’ve been doing on spiny dogfish feeding ration has finally seen publication.  For those with access, the paper (published in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management) is now available online (and if you don’t have…

Dogfish Portraits

Field work season is heating up, figuratively and literally.  Before I start another series of posts on updates from the water, here’s a quick recap with accompanying photos of a little project I’ve been involved with for the past couple months (and/or year).  Readers who’ve…

New Dogfish Management Rules Proposed

Earlier this week some new rules were proposed for spiny dogfish management on the east coast.  The changes affect three key parts of the fishery management plan for spiny dogfish: quota set aside for research, essential fish habitat, and the allocation of the quota.  While…

Actual Sharknado off of Cape Hatteras

North Carolina’s weather has never been what you’d call predictable, especially off of Cape Hatteras (all those shipwrecks have to come from somewhere).  That said, what I saw yesterday while tagging sharks off of Hatteras takes the cake.  During what had been an uncharacteristically nice…