These sharks are especially vulnerable to over-fishing as they are slow to mature, have a very long gestation period, and produce very few young. Demand for these fish is highest in Europe, but they were commonly caught in American waters for export to Europe. The American National Marine Fisheries Services closed American waters to dogfish fishing in July 2003 on evidence that the population was on the edge of collapse (2). WWF have created a suggested recovery plan that aims to reduce exploitation to very low rates to allow recovery, and to reduce by-catch by avoiding areas with spiny dogfish. Monitoring and research on the spatial and seasonal patterns of distribution are also planned (6).