Among the most common species are:
This vigorous shark continues to struggle even after being hooked on a line, to the satisfaction of sport fishermen. It can weigh up to 455 kg and measure 3.6 meters (11 feet) in length.
Spiny or Black Dogfish
Generally measures between 60 and 100 cm. It prefers temperate and subarctic waters.
This spiny shark with a slate gray or brownish-gray body and white belly has firm, moderately fatty flesh.
In Great Britain, it is often used for fish and chips under the name "rock salmon."
In Mexico, it is called "cazon" or sea dog. In Campeche, the flesh is combined with chilies and epazote to make a filling for tacos.
The fins are highly prized in Asian countries.
Spotted Dogfish (roussette)
Spotted dogish is also called "saumonette" or "salmonette" even though it belongs to the shark family! The small spotted dogfish measures between 40 and 60 cm and the large spotted dogfish reaches 80-130 cm. It frequents the waters of the Mediterranean and Atlantic. Its light-colored skin is speckled with brown spots, hence its name, though the tough thick skin is always removed before the fish is sold.
The tope shark usually measures between 140 and 180 cm in length. It lives in temperate and subtropical waters, particularly on both sides of the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Mediterranean.
Finally a fish without bones! Sharks have only a central cartilage that is easily removed after cooking.
Note that shark is fairly high in nitrogenous non-protein materials (such as urea) that can give off an odor of ammonia even when the fish is very fresh. Therefore the skin should be removed before cooking. Don't worry: all traces of ammonia will disappear during cooking.
It's thickness rather than weight that determines cooking time for fish. Be careful! Shark is lean and dries out more quickly than fatty fish. Remove it from the heat as soon as you see a pearly white liquid begin to bead on the surface.
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