Dogfish, Lesser Spotted

Scyliorhinus canicula

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Gill or fixed net
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Cornwall
Stock detail — 7e, 7f, 7g, 7h
Picture of Dogfish, Lesser Spotted

Sustainability rating four info

Sustainability overview

For more information about this rating please visit:

Cornwall Good Seafood Guide Cornwall Good Seafood Guide


Lesser spotted dogfish or catshark belongs to one of the largest families of sharks, the dogfishes or Scyliorhinidae. Most commonly encountered around the coasts of northern Europe it is a bottom dwelling shark most usually found over sand, mud, algae, and rocky bottoms in coastal waters down to depths of 400 m. Like many elasmobranchs, the catshark often aggregates by size and sex.

In the North East Atlantic females reach first maturity at around 52 cm, with 50% of individuals mature by 57 cm (8 years) and all are expected to be mature by 69 cm. Males reach first maturity at around 49 cm, with 50% of individuals mature by 53.5 cm (6 to 7 years) and all mature 62 cm. Females lay their eggs during spring and early summer. The shark embryos are enclosed in cases (called ‘mermaids’ purses) whilst they develop and mature, a period of 5-11 months depending on sea temperature.

Catsharks can grow up to 1 metre in length, but rarely seen larger than 80 cm. Maximum age is reported as 12 years. They are also marketed as dogfish.

Stock information

Criterion score: 0.5 info

Stock Area


Stock information


Criterion score: 0.75 info

Capture Information

Criterion score: 0.5 info


Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below. Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.

Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler
Cod, Atlantic Cod
Coley, Saithe
Hake, European
Monkfish, Anglerfish
Pollock, Alaska, Walleye
Sturgeon (Farmed)