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Business and Economy

Pass the Dogfish Nuggets? Seafood Industry Rebrands ‘Trash’

By Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine — New England’s seafood industry is putting more emphasis on underutilized fish species as their more traditional staples decline or become the subject of tougher quotas.

The Northeast’s traditional food fish has long been the Atlantic cod, but it has declined in the face of overfishing and environmental changes. Restaurant owners, fishermen and food processing companies say a growing shift to new species is helping to fill that void. Catch of species such as spiny dogfish, Acadian redfish and scup have all increased dramatically since 10 years ago as Atlantic cod has fallen.

The shift toward species once regarded as "trash fish" reflects a broader trend in U.S. seafood toward species that are more abundant. Restaurant owners say the biggest challenge is getting consumers to accept unfamiliar fish species as food.