Thursday, August 20, 2009
Have we placed the Bay of Fundy's Spiny Dogfish on the growing list of endangered species?
Marine Biologist Awarded $237,000 NOAA Grant To Research Contentious Issue Of Spiny Dogfish Stock - Underwatertimes.com News Service August 19, 2009 20:46 EST
BIDDEFORD, Maine -- University of New England marine biologist James Sulikowski, Ph.D., has placed himself in the middle of a contentious debate between conservationists and the commericial fishing industry over the health of the spiny dogfish stock.
Sulikowski, assistant professor, Department of Marine Sciences, has been awarded a $237,000 grant from the NOAA Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program to use satellite tags to examine the behavior of spiny dogfish in the Northwest Atlantic. The research will try to determine the habitat, depth and movement patterns of the spiny dogfish to better understand the inconsistencies in data collected by federal agencies and the commercial fishing industry.
The status of the spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias, stock in the northwest Atlantic Ocean has become a volatile issue. Distributed from Labrador to Florida, this species was once considered to be the most abundant shark throughout this geographic range.
However, with the decline of traditional groundfish resources in the last 15 years, an increase in directed fishing for spiny dogfish resulted in a nearly ten-fold increase in U.S. landings from 1987-1996, reducing the stock below survival threshold levels.
The Debate Based on this reported decline, conservation groups are suggesting the species should be protected while commercial fishing interests say that spiny dogfish are abundant in northeastern U.S. waters.
Read the entire article here: http://www.underwatertimes.com/news.php?article_id=35269804107
Photo Credit: wikipedia.com