- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Fishing regulators are going to allow fishermen to catch more smooth dogfish, a species of increasing interest in commercial fisheries.

The seafood industry has been trying to find new markets for the dogfish in recent years. Catch of the East Coast sharks has been consistent, but they aren’t recognized by many U.S. consumers and are of low economic value.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission says the smooth dogfish quota for 2017 will be nearly 4 million pounds. The quota for 2016 was a little more than 2.6 million pounds.

Fishermen don’t typically catch that many pounds of smooth dogfish per year. The catch is usually in the 1 million to 2 million pound range. But regulators say the species is not overfished, and can withstand a higher fishing quota.

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