PORTLAND, Maine — Fishermen will be allowed to catch slightly less of a species of shark that has become a more frequent target of commercial harvesting in recent years.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has approved a quota of about 38.2 million pounds of spiny dogfish for the 2018 fishing year, which starts May 1. That is about 900,000 pounds less than the quota for the current year.

It’s also more than dogfish harvesters usually catch, though they’ve been catching more recently. Fishermen from Maine to North Carolina caught more than 20 million pounds of the fish three times from 2011 to 2015. They caught only about 3 million pounds per year in the early- and mid-2000s.

Dogfish are used as food, mostly in Europe.

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