Dogfish Numbers Decrease In Puget Sound August 2, 2005 Release from: UPI The number of dogfish in Washington State is at an historic low, with officials estimating current numbers are just one-sixth of those reported in 1987. Over-fishing is blamed for the dramatic decline, researchers told the Seattle Times. Statistics in 2001 -- the most recent available - indicated there were 1.75 million dogfish in Washington`s inland waters, compared with more than 10 million 15 years earlier. "We need to get the message out to the public. It`s an amazing animal that can live up to 100 years," said Richard Beamish, a senior scientist for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. He noted dogfish don`t start reproducing until they are 25 to 35 years old. Beamish said sport fishermen may not realize a dogfish they`ve caught might have been born in 1925. And it is those fishermen who are catching the majority of dogfish in Puget Sound. "They cut the fin off a dogfish, or cut off its nose or cut the belly open and let the entrails drag out, and throw the fish back alive to die," he said. "People should be disgusted. No animal should be treated this way."