The Division of Marine Fisheries and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are conducting an experimental survey in which they will offer the Massachusetts anglers between $15 to $500 to turn in their saltwater fishing licenses. Other registered fishermen and women will be hit with mailings, asking them how much money it would take to get them to quit fishing for the year.
The point of the $145,000 survey is to measure just how valuable recreational saltwater fishing is to the state’s residents. The data will be used for allocating future fish stocks and limitations in the recreational and commercial markets, as well as to measure the value of any potential loss to anglers, should something like a natural disaster put a stop to recreational fishing.
Although most anglers are skeptical and even offended by the program, any who want to volunteer will not be accepted. The reason is because people who are just seeking a payday would skew the results of the survey. Another reason is to protect husbands, after one woman tried to turn in her man’s fishing license so that she could make a little cash and force him to quit fishing at the same time.