Some English fish and chip shops could begin serving locally caught small sharks after the government reopened targeted fisheries in a boost to an industry buffeted by inflation, the cost of living crisis and the Ukraine war.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs this week announced that UK fishermen would be able to catch the Northeast Atlantic spur dog, a species of small shark.

Defra’s joint move with the EU came after the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, a marine conservation body, said stock of the species had recovered to levels that supported fishing.

The verdict will mean the reintroduction of “rock salmon”, a name intended to appeal more than “shark” or “dogfish”, which was served in some restaurants in southern England until a ban on catching it took effect in 2010.

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