Smooth Dogfish


Smooth Dogfish - Mustelus canis

*Information from FAO Species Identification Guide Western Central Atlantic*

Smooth dogfish
Size
Maximum total length to 150 cm, common to 100 cm;size at birth between 34 and 39 cm; males maturing at about 82 cm, females at about 90 cm.
Habitat, biology, and fisheries

An active bottom shark inhabiting coastal waters, especially on muddy bottoms; rarely down to 150 m; occasionally found in fresh water but not ascending rivers very far above their mouths. Migrates north and south with the seasons in the northern part of its range. Viviparous (placental viviparous), with 4 to 20 young per litter.Feeds mainly on crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, shrimps); also, on a variety of small demersal and pelagic bony fish, king crabs, squid, bivalves, gastropods, polychaete worms, and occasionally garbage. Kept in aquaria for public viewing. Fished in coastal waters, an important fisheries catch off Cuba, Mexico, and northeastern Venezuela, but probably caught wherever it occurs.Separate statistics are not reported for this species which is apparently abundant in some localities. Caught mainly with bottom longlines; also with floating longlines, probably gill nets, and occasionally with bottom trawls. Marketed fresh and salted, not highly esteemed as a food-fish in some places.

Distribution
Western Atlantic; Canada south along the eastern coast of the USA to Florida and the Gulf Coast to Texas, Mexico, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles to Venezuela, Suriname, French Guiana, Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina; possibly absent from the Atlantic coast of Central America and northwestern South America. There are 2 allopatric subspecies, M. canis canis from continental waters from Canada to Argentina, and an insular form, M. canis insularis, from the islands of the Caribbean.