Spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) are assumed to be a highly migratory species, making habitual north-south migrations throughout their northwestern Atlantic United States (U.S.) range. Also assumed to be a benthic species, spiny dogfish stock structure is estimated through Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) bottom-trawl surveys. Recent anomalies in population trends, including a recent four-fold increase in estimated spawning stock biomass, suggest alternative movement patterns could exist for this shark species. To obtain a better understanding of the horizontal and vertical movement dynamics of this species, Microwave Telemetry pop-up satellite archival X-Tags were attached to forty adult spiny dogfish at the northern (Gulf of Maine) and southern (North Carolina) extents of their core U.S. geographic range. Reconstructed geolocation tracks ranging in lengths from two to 12 months suggest that the seasonal migration patterns appear to be local in nature to each respective northern and southern deployment site, differing from previously published migration paradigms. Differences in distance and direction traveled between seasonal geolocations possibly indicate separate migratory patterns between groups. Kernel utilization distribution models also suggest strong separate core home ranges. Significant differences in seasonal temperature and depths between the two regions further substantiate the possibility of separate regional movement patterns between the two groups. Vertical utilization also suggests distinct diel patterns and that this species may not utilize the benthos as previously thought, potentially decreasing availability to benthic gear.
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