Are You Brave Enough to Try a Dogfish Taco?

Have you ever heard of a dogfish let alone been served some on your plate? If you haven’t, you’re not alone. That is something, however, that needs to change. Dogfish is one of the most plentiful fish available in US East Coast fisheries.

In fact, it is estimated that in the Gulf of Maine there are 23 times as many dogfish as cod (which is the traditional fish caught in that area).

Why Are We Not Served Dogfish?

Unfortunately, although dogfish populations have steadily boomed off the eastern coast of the United States, there is almost no market for them here.

Maybe it’s because they look like this:

Whatever the reason, there are very few American restaurants that regularly serve dogfish to their customers.

“The majority of the seafood we catch in our U.S. fisheries doesn’t stay here,” explains Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, who leads the Seafood Watch program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, explained to NPR.

Not only that she says, but in America “90 percent of the seafood we consume in the U.S. is actually caught or farm-raised overseas.”

Will Americans Ever Love Dogfish?

If you are at all concerned about simple economic math or the environment, you will realize that the import/export ratio of fish seems a bit upside down. Sustainable seafood advocates thought so too.

Recently there has been a big push to get dogfish onto menus all over the country.

The leaders of this push are Sea to Table and Seamore’s.

Sea to Table is a company that connects domestic fishermen with bulk buyers in hopes of encouraging them to purchase and prepare dogfish and other native species.

And it has a pretty charming storefront to boot, right?

Seamore’s, on the other hand is just a popular restaurant in NYC that is making dogfish tacos cool.

They also serve many other local and sustainable varieties of seafood.

So the question remains: Is dogfish even good? “Oh, it’s so good — amazing!” student Ruth Crawford of the University of Massachusetts told NPR. Not only that, but it’s new, it’s local, so healthy,” she gushed.

Clearly, once you get past the fact that dogfish has a face that only a mother could love, you’re in for a treat.  

Next time you’re at the store or a trendy seafood restaurant, try the dog fish. You may suddenly find that you can’t get enough of this under-loved species.

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