The state of Massachusetts, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries, recently initiated a study in which 700 saltwater anglers were offered cash in exchange for giving up the right to fish. Licensed anglers who accept the offer will receive as much as $500 after giving up their fishing license and all rights to fish in state coastal waters in 2012.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association said it “cannot support programs that discourage anglers from enjoying time on the water,” although it commends NOAA Fisheries for its attempt to collect data on the perceived value of recreational fishing.
Data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service notes that in 2006 Massachusetts consumers spent $494.6 million on saltwater fishing tackle alone. There are about 298,000 saltwater anglers in Massachusetts.
“Now more than ever it is important to spur economic growth in America and in the recreational boating and fishing communicates,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich said in a statement. “NMMA will continue to support programs that actively encourage consumers to participate in on-water recreation through boating and fishing.”