Dogfish harvest to stay same in '19 as fishermen seek market

MIKE SPRINGER/Staff file photo/A chef cuts into a dogfish during a Seafood Showdown at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the smooth dogfish quota will be a little less than 4 million pounds in 2019.

BOSTON  — Federal ocean managers are allowing the same level of harvest of smooth dogfish, a small species of shark that members of the East Coast seafood industry have tried to find a market for.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the smooth dogfish quota will be a little less than 4 million pounds in 2019. That's the same as this year and the previous year.

Despite the steady size of the quota, fishermen harvested less than a quarter of it this year. Members of the seafood industry have tried marketing dogfish to U.S. consumers, but it remains an uncommon menu item.

Earlier this year, the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance received a Saltonstall-Kennedy grant of about $37,000 from NOAA for a marketing and promotion project centered on raising the profile of dogfish – including changing the name of the species – to make it more attractive to consumers.

Most of the 2016 harvest came to land in New York, New Jersey and North Carolina, though the quota is shared by states from Maine to South Carolina.

The majority of material used in this report came from the Associated Press.

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