Yesterday, a recreational fisherman from Massachusetts had to be rescued after a serious injury from a spiny dogfish shark.

New England commercial fishermen are no strangers to the many pains resulting from spiny dogfish catches. They have spent many years trying to describe the time and effort they put into unclogging nets full of dogs. It was insult to injury when these same aggressive and low-value sharks were being protected (in hindsight erroneously because our data bank was so shallow) by the federal government.

Now news that Brexit may put British markets in turmoil could turn into a boon for New England groundfish draggers and gillnetters. If Britain does withdraw from the EU, the economic separation could depress the value of the pound, which effectively would cause a jump in prices for the cod and haddock they import to feed the demand for fish and chips.

What’s cheaper than haddock and cod? Dogfish. And there’s plenty of it, and it even carries the MSC sustainability ecolable that Europeans love. What’s more, dogfish is the traditional fish for Limey fish and chips and one of the main catches they scooped up off our shores before the Magnuson Act sent them packing 40 years ago.

So what say you, Jolly Old Friend? We’ve got better fish to fry.


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Jessica Hathaway is the former editor in chief of National Fisherman.

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