Massachusetts, in partnership with NOAA Fisheries, made an offer to pay 700 saltwater anglers $500 each to give up their fishing licenses for the year. The program is part of a study to measure the perceived value of recreational fishing. It sounded just plain wrong to us, and the National Marine Manufacturers Association cried foul: “We cannot support programs that discourage anglers from enjoying time on the water,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the NMMA. “Now more than ever it is important to spur economic growth in America and in the recreational boating and fishing communities.” There are about 298,000 saltwater anglers in Massachusetts. At press time, the study indicated that about 25 percent—or 175—of those 700 anglers had agreed to take the cash and give up fishing for the year.
This article originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.