But when you ask those who favor the increase about some of the unknowns–the decreasing number of juvenile striped bass, the projections that show a decline in the number of fish age eight and older, the disturbing reports that two-thirds of the stripers in the Chesapeake Bay are infected with a wasting bacteria–the conversation drifts or you get a shrugging of the shoulders.
There’s no comfort in that.
And that’s when recreational anglers were on their game Monday night, arguing that it’s bad business to push the acclerator to the floor when you don’t know how full the gas tank is.
Where they lost me was arguing that they should have greater access because recreational fishing is more valuble to government coffers than commercial interests.
I’m not sure I can support the concept that someone’s hobby is more important than someone else’s livelihood. And I don’t know that it’s always a good idea to link monetary benefits to societal importance.
If we go down that path in this economy, it won’t be long until we’re making the same arguments when it comes to programs for special needs children vs. the larger school population. Or building access ramps at parks vs. new trails. Or paying for senior citizen programs vs. youth services.
The resource, in this case striped bass, belongs to everyone, whether that person is driving a Grady White or a trawler.
Outdoors Girl: No striped bass for you! – Baltimore Sun reporter Candus Thomson covers Maryland Outdoors in her blog, Outdoors Girl – baltimoresun.com