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Spiny dogfish, cape shark (Squalus acanthius)

Spiny dogfish, cape shark
Spiny dogfish, cape shark

Scientific name for Spiny dogfish, cape shark

Squalus acanthius

Common name(s) for Spiny dogfish, cape shark

Dogfish, sand shark, rock salmon (UK)

Market name

Spiny dogfish, cape shark

Other language names for Spiny dogfish, cape shark

  • French: Aiguillat commun
  • German: Dornhai
  • Italian: Spinarolo
  • Japanese: Aburatsunozame
  • Spanish: Mielga

Introduction to Spiny dogfish, cape shark

This boneless shark has a number of desirable characteristics for American customers. Promoters aim to increase acceptance of the dogfish by selling it under a different name authorized by the Food and Drug Administration: “Cape shark.” Domestically, the species is distributed from the Gulf of Alaska to Point Conception, California, along the Pacific Coast. It is found along the Atlantic Coast between Cape Sable, Nova Scotia, and Cape Cod. Longliners target Cape sharks, which are landed as bycatch by gillnetters. The market is about 3 feet in length and weighs between 7 and 10 pounds on average. As with other sharks, dogfish are elasmobranchs, which means their skeleton is made of cartilage rather than bone. Additionally, sharks lack a conventional urinary system, which means they concentrate urea, a waste product, in their blood and expel it via their skin. Dogfish must be gutted, bled, and cooled immediately upon capture. Otherwise, the urea stays in the body and after 24 hours, an ammonia odor emerges.

Product Profile for Spiny dogfish, cape shark

The flesh of the spiny dogfish has a pleasant, mild flavor and contains more oil than mako or other sharks. The texture is flaky but solid. The flesh is white when it is uncooked. The flesh on the outside might be reddish in hue. If the reddish part is not removed before cooking, it will become brown. The remaining meat cooks to a white color. The oil in the meat helps to keep it moist. A mildly pleasant odor should be present in dogfish meat; a tiny metallic odor is okay, but an ammonia taint is not.

Nutrition for Spiny dogfish, cape shark


Calories: 130
Fat Calories: 41
Total Fat: 4.5 g
Saturated Fat: 0.9 g
Cholesterol: 51 mg
Sodium: 79 mg
Protein: 20.9 g
Omega 3: 0.9 g

Cooking tips for Spiny dogfish, cape shark

Customers will be more eager to try this diverse species if you offer creative culinary recommendations and preparations. You can deep fry spiny dogfish for fish and chips, like the British do, but don’t stop there. Cubed beef can be used in kebabs or stir-fries. Because of its oily meat, dogfish smokes well. Shark fin soup may be made with the fins, and the firm flesh makes a great chowder component.

Cooking methods for Spiny dogfish, cape shark

Bake, Broil, Fry, Grill , Saute , Smoke

Primary Product Forms for Spiny dogfish, cape shark

Fresh: Whole, H&G, Fillets (skin-on/skinless), Steaks, Backs

Frozen: H&G, Fillets (skin-off), Steaks, Backs

Value-added: Livers, Dried fins, Tails, Smoked belly flaps

Global Supply for Spiny dogfish, cape shark

Canada, Iceland, Norway, UK, United States, Iran