Dogfish dilemma for fishermen

October 13, 2009 5:19:43 AM PDT
Fishermen off Massachusetts say they're dogged by a problem created by federal efforts to protect a species of shark known as the dogfish.

Fishermen consider this small shark, renowned for its stunning appetite, the vermin of the ocean. They say the once-threatened dogfish has rebounded under federal protections to an insatiable mass that's devouring more valuable and scarce fish that regulators are also trying to restore.

As a bonus, dogfish also destroy nets, steal bait, and eat catch right off the hook.

Federal regulators say fishermen aren't seeing the entire picture.

Regulators say the stock is now stronger, and also more abundant near shore where fishermen see them, but the population remains vulnerable.

One shark specialist says the dogfish shouldn't be used as a scapegoat for decades of overfishing.