Gulf Of Maine

Sea Life & Aquarium Substrates

Sea life from the Northern Atlantic Ocean. 50 degree F salt water species. Gulf of Maine Inc. supplies sea life, beach plants, and aquarium substrates from Maine, collected by hand.

Aquarium substrates


Bony fishes



Cartilaginous fishes



Gulf of Maine assortments




Saltwater plants




Spiny Dogfish (Squalus acanthias)

Spiny Dogfish (Squalus acanthias)


Common name: spiny dogfish, cape shark, spur dog

Scientific name:  Squalus acanthias

Locations:  open ocean

Seasonality:  available year round

Colors:  gray

Size:  2’

Collected: deep sea fishing

Quantity:  by the each

Contact us if you are ordering more than one.

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Preserved spiny dogfish being prepared for dissection.

Preserved spiny dogfish being prepared for dissection.

Tidepool Tim says,  "The dogfish is a true, saltwater, cartilaginous shark!  Dogfish can grow to a few feet in size, but they are manageable aquarium residents. They're quite unique, too - they have been known to live up to 100 years. This shark also seems to have the longest gestation period of any vertebrate! They can be pregnant for 22 to 24 months.

A few factors to keep in mind if you are considering caring for the spiny dogfish:

  • Dogfish sharks are mostly bottom-dwelling, but it does require a tank 10' - 12' ft in diameter, near 1,000 gallons volume minimum to keep a healthy shark
  • Sharks prefer a round tank for mobility
  • The tank should have a fine sandy bottom for the shark to dig in
  • Large rocks in the tank must be secured because the shark will burrow and cause cave-ins
  • It's usually best to keep this shark in a species only tank
  • Sharks can't be treated with heavy metal solutions like copper
  • The tank must be well filtered and oxygenated with minimal swimming obstructions placed in the tank
  • Diet: shrimp, squid, fishes, crustaceans, krill, scallops, and other invertebrates
  • This shark has spined dorsal fins (not venomous)

Dogfish are unbelievably numerous in the Gulf of Maine, and make for a great opportunity to study or dissect a cartilaginous fish. Contact us to request this animal frozen or preserved. Sharks are an evolutionary link before the mineralized skeleton! Dogfish don't even have a swim bladder - just an oily liver to provide buoyancy. Among other amazing features of sharks, they predate the dinosaurs and have outlived them by far. They are the Earth's original apex predator. Examine dogfish sensory structures: the lateral line system and Ampullae of Lorenzini used to detect electrical impulses of other sea creatures. "

Download the Dogfish Dissection Guide PDF