Human Events Blog

It’s An Obama World… Fishermen Given Bribes Not to Fish

It’s an Obama world…

(uaff)

The latest great idea to come from the Obama Administration is to bribe fishermen with taxpayer dollars not to fish. It’s OK. It’s not their money.

The Boston Globe reported:

Pat Judge, an avid sport fisherman, has been walking around with a $500 check in his pocket for a week, trying to decide whether to cash it. That’s because the money comes with a catch: Judge must agree to turn in his $10 recreational saltwater fishing license for the year.

In an unusual experiment being conducted only in Massachusetts, the federal government is surveying anglers to figure out how much it would cost to persuade Judge and 1,899 others not to fish off the coast.

But officials say the purpose is not to actually reduce fishing. Instead, they say, the survey is intended to measure the worth of recreational saltwater fishing to the estimated 1.2 million residents and visitors who do it annually. The results could be used in variety of ways, officials say, such as to calculate the potential loss to anglers if an oil spill or other environmental disaster halted recreational ocean fishing.

But after years of government restrictions on commercial fishermen, and more expected because of plummeting cod stocks, some recreational anglers wonder if officials are up to something more sinister: revoking their right to fish. The no-fishing offer, which ranges from $15 to $500, is raising hackles among those who consider it another government assault on New England’s fishing industry. “I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. I imagine if you were in tough economic straits you would take the money.

It’s not enough for me,’’ said Judge, who lives in Groton and owns a Provincetown home. “It raises certain ethical questions on whether it’s right for the government to be spending money to keep you from doing your hobby.’’ The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has allocated about $145,000 to conduct the survey over the next several months, with about $75,000 allotted for cash offers, said Scott Steinback, a NOAA economist who came up with the idea.

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