The Marketing of Dogfish

(Photo: Biodiversity Heritage Library)

(Photo: Biodiversity Heritage Library)

In New England, cod and haddock are overfished and, according to WBUR, fishermen and restaurant owners are seeking cheaper and more plentiful fish like dogfish. Fish wholesalers are therefore working to promote the dogfish’s image. According to WBUR, dogfish is already used in cafeterias at some local universities and hospitals — and local lawmakers are now pushing the federal government to help by buying dogfish for prisons and military rations. What genius marketing: “Dogfish: Tasty enough for schools, hospitals, C rations, and even prisons.”


Local politicians using pork legislation to get dogfish bought by the military and prisons is the end goal, not the means to a quality marketing campaign. Military and prison contracts means millions of $$ in inflated contracts. Why care about selling on the open market at that point?

Steve Powers

Dogfish has been on British menus for years, although it's sold as "Rock Salmon" over here...


Actually it's now illegal to sell it as Rock Salmon, it has to be called dogfish. This combined with the fact that it's now classified as an endangered species in the NW Atlantic means that very few places in Britain still sell it (you can import it from other fisheries).

Since it's a type of shark and very slow maturing it's not sustainable to fish it for food. Personal opinion: it's the rat of the underwater world and tastes like it.


Good marketing.

"Rock Salmon" sounds much better than "Dogfish."

Kind of like having a "Wonderful filet mignon" vs. a "Hunk of dead cow." :)


I don't know why I was expecting an article about Dogfish Head in prisons.


Same. Sounds like the win for the inmates!


Can people really tell the difference between most kinds of fish, especially after it's been combined with chips?


Yes indeed they can. I prefer Plaice as a preference over cod, but rock salmon is good too.


It is served as 'Cazon' in Spain in a light batter flavored with cumin


I thought this was about beer.......

Chris S

What is this "dogfish" of which you speak?

Did you actually mean "northern shark"?

(reaches back 28 years into the Montreal Gazette)...,4071403


I thought this was going to be an article about the marketing of Dogfish Head beer.

Phil Persinger

Orange roughy = slimehead

Chilean sea bass = Patagonian toothfish

Kiwi fruit = Chinese gooseberry

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

Bill S. would have made a killing in modern marketing...


I like the Rock Salmon comments. They could probably charge a premium for European Rock Salmon.

steve cebalt

We don't serve dogfish in Indiana (that I know of), and I am glad; I don't think I could woof it down.

And now that I've read this blogpost, I've suddenly lost my appetite for catfish, too.

A local study found fish in our restaurants to be nearly 100% fraudulently named/misidentified, with cheap low-market fish being sold by the names of up-market fish. By the time Hoosiers batter and fry it, it really makes no difference -- except the price.

Mike Lambert

In Australia it is known as Pouisson de Pooch but over the years it has been corrupted into Peedypee. Quite a serviceable all purpose fish..akin to Murrumbidgee Lumpfish.


Well if Patagonian Toothfish can fetch $20/pound when referred to as Chilean Seabass, I would think that we could come up with an improvement over Dogfish.

Wesley kingson

In New England, cod and haddock are over fished which is weird that there just taking a more affirmative action to try to get there over population under control.