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Deep in the Dark: Spurdog Photography

Last year, Peter Verhoog and Georgina Wiersma of Dutch Shark Society visited Scotland. One of their destinations was Scottish Loch Etive.

According to research of James Thorburn of Marine Scotland (, read his paper here)), the Scottish Loch Etive could be a breeding ground for the small spurdog shark (Squalus acanthias), an endangered species that was once abundant in Scottish waters and the North Sea.

Dr. John Howe of the Scottish Association of Marine Science ( took Peter Verhoog diving down into the deep near Falls of Lora, at the entrace of Loch Etive, for some great spurdog pictures!
A dark pit just off falls of Lora is the place where sometimes spurdogs hang out at diveable depths, as the larger aggregations of sharks stay below 80 metres of more in the loch itself.

Diving is strictly limited to slack water, as currents at Falls of Lora can be extremely strong! During Peter’s visit, the slack tides lasted about 30 minutes, and during one of the dives, Peter and his buddy Dr. John Howe had to abandon the dive, as the currents picked up very rapidly after a few minutes.

There is a reason that Falls of Lora is a popular spot for wild water rafting! Do NOT tempt to dive their independently, contact a local dive shop or club – this is an expert dive!

See more exciting video’s of sharks, rays and research on:

Dutch Shark Society’s Vimeo page

Additional picture and footage:

A spiny dogfish (or or spurdog, mud shark, or piked dogfish (Squalus acanthias) in full glory and a short topside video of Falls of Lora 

The spiny dogfish or spurdog, mud shark, or piked dogfish (Squalus acanthias)


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