Fisheries Infosite

Spiny Dogfish South-East(Coast) (SPD3)
Maori name
Scientific name
Squalus acanthias

Physical characteristics

Spiny Dogfish are brownish-grey on top with large, sparse white spots and white undersides. They can grow to a maximum length of 110 cm.

Life cycle

Spiny Dogfish have a maximum age of 21 years for males and 26 years for females. Males reach maturity at 58 cm length and 6 years old, while females reach maturity at 73 cm length and 10 years of age. They give birth in depths of 200-300 m on the shelf edge between April and September.


Spiny Dogfish are found throughout most of New Zealand, but are most common around the South Island. They live on the continental shelf and upper slope to depths of 700 m. Spiny Dogfish feed on krill, fish, squid and crabs.

Key statistics
Recreational significance Medium
Customary significance Medium
Reported commercial catch1 (tonnes)
Quota value estimate2 (NZ$m)
Exports estimate2 (NZ$m)
1 Reported commercial catch is calculated for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025
2 Quota value and exports are calculated pro-rata to reported commercial catch for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025