Arctic Traders^ information about Daily Mail dogfish article
Article Date: 2014-08-11
On the 28th July, the Daily Mail published an article on the spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias, in relation to an article about smooth-hound shark carcasses being found on a beach on the Isle of Wight.
In the last issue of The Fish Friers Review, the NFFF printed an article to give our readers the facts about dogfish should they be asked by their customers.
To follow up this article, the NFFF contacted Arctic Traders Ltd, who are the main importers in the UK of dogfish (Squalus acanthias). Their Managing Director, Simon Gray, was pleased to supply the following information to readers of The Fish Friers Review.
The species that is used predominantly in the catering and fish frying trade in the UK is Squalus acanthias, commonly referred to as rock, rock salmon or huss.
It is fair to say that European stocks were low and were heavily fished over many years. For this reason, fishing was effectively banned in Europe some years ago although we believe there is still some by-catch permitted in Iceland and Norway.
Almost all the rock (or "dogs” as we call them in the trade) are now imported from the East Coast of the USA. It is exactly the same species and has the benefit of being a wholly sustainable fishery with MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certification. http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/north-west-atlantic/us_atlantic_spiny_dogfish/us_atlantic_spiny_dogfish
I would say that the East Coast American fish covers about 95% of the market here in the UK.
There is also a much smaller fishery on the West Coast of the USA. This was MSC-certified but the certification has lapsed as there are no processors who are taking up the chain of custody due to lack of fishing effort.
To conclude – as one of the major importers of this product for over 30 years, I am a 100% comfortable that the dogfish served by fish friers in the UK is completely sustainable and responsibly sourced.
Thank you to Simon for supplying this information.