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Small-spotted catshark

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/Keurmerk Wild
Second choice
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Sharks & Rays

Sharks and rays belong to the Chondrichthyes. This means that, unlike other fish, their entire skeleton is made of cartilage. Because rays can be more specialized in their choice of food, their habitats are often smaller and less widespread than sharks habitats.  Sharks are more mobile and do not live close to the sea bottom, therefore, their habitats are more vast and diverse. Sharks and rays inhabit all world seas. Their reproduction rate is fairly slow which makes rays and sharks populations very vulnerable to fishing pressure.



Small-spotted catshark

The spiny dogfish, piked dogfish, spurdog, or mud shark is a small species of shark, which is light brown in colour and has dark spots on its back and sides. This species can reach up to 1 m in length and a maximum age of 12 years. The spiny dogfish can be found in the north-eastern part of the Atlantic Ocean.


Small-spotted catshark

Scyliorhinus canicula

Atlantic Ocean, northeast (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Bottom otter trawl, Beam trawl, Demersal longlines, Gillnets

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

Many shark species are on the red list of endangered species of the IUCNIUCN:
International Union for the Conservation of Nature, an international institute for nature and natural resources. It is a partnership with both non-governmental organizations and governments. 
as vulnerable or endangered. Most species show a downward trend in landings in the North Sea since 1970. Sharks are overfished worldwide. Sharks are vulnerable to [fishing pressure], because the grow slowly, have a low fecundity and reach sexual maturity late. Sharks can get very old, some species even 40 years. They are extra vulnerable during spawning season, because then they school together.

Sharks are bycatch in almost every fishing method, but mainly in longline fishery. The large-scale removal of apex predators out of the food chain has probably an impact on the ecosystem, although there is not much known about it concerning sharks.

In the EU it is since 2003 forbidden to cut of the fins of sharks. These rule however is easy to evade. The European Commission has made a shark action plan to better protect the sharks. The international fishery management organisations acknowledge the problem of shark bycatch, but don’t really take measures. According to ICESICES:
International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, an international organization dedicated to research and advice for a sustainable use of the oceans. 
, the fishery on, among others, spiny dogfish needs to be stopped.


ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.


Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.


There is fish available of this species that is farmed or caught using high welfare standards.


GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.


Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.