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Fishermen desperate for revenues are learning to love the ornery dogfish, and they're hoping the government can help them persuade seafood eaters to do the same.

    Industry groups have asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to buy more dogfish fillets, to increase industry earnings and build the market for an abundant, but low-value species.

    Last week, 19 New England lawmakers followed the fishermen's request with a letter saying the purchase could ``bring much needed relief to an ailing industry.''

    The purchase would be made under a program that buys surplus food, relieving downward pressure on the price. The food is then donated to federal programs.

    The desire to promote dogfish is a change for fishermen who have long despised the small shark, a relentless predator they say drives out more valuable species, such as cod. (Associated Press)