- Associated Press - Friday, May 20, 2016

OLD LYME, Conn. (AP) - Interstate fishing regulators have scheduled public hearings about changes to rules that govern removal of fins from coastal sharks by fishermen.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is set to consider an amendment that would allow fishermen to bring smooth dogfish to land with fins removed as long as their total retained catch is at least 25 percent dogfish.

Current rules say fishermen can bring ashore as many finned dogfish as they choose.

Hearings will take place in Maryland on June 21, New Jersey on June 22, North Carolina on June 23, and New York and Connecticut on June 28.

Fishermen caught about 1.8 million pounds of smooth dogfish in 2014. They were brought ashore in the states where hearings are taking place as well as Virginia and Rhode Island.

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