Letter to the Editor: Our Tax Dollars at Work?

Your editorial and news story in the last issue about the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service paying Massachusetts fishermen not to fish in an experiment they call a “survey” was downright frightening.

Should we all really believe that NOAA’s goal was to find out “what actual value sportfishing enthusiasts place on their time spent saltwater fishing?” For anyone who believes that claim, I have some oceanfront property in Arizona you might be interested in.            

I believe it’s clear that NOAA is trying to do two things: First, they want to find out how much anglers would be willing to pay to hold onto their right to keep fishing. If it’s a lot higher than what we’re paying in fishing license and permit fees right now, you can bet they’re going to be asking for us to pay a lot more the next time we send a check to the DFG.

Second, they want to cut down the total number of anglers on the water for so-called “conservation” reasons — so they’re trying see how many of us would stop fishing if they offered us a lump-sum payment. Could they get by with offering most of us $50 a year, or would it take more than that to keep us from fishing? THAT’S what this “survey” is REALLY supposed to find out.

Of course, this mad scheme is all being paid for by sport anglers — taxpayers — like you and me. We’re footing the $145,000 bill for this study, which is designed to find new ways to keep hitting us in the pocketbook again and again and again.

I can’t wait to read the “results” of this scientific “study.”

Vic Larson
San Diego 

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