It is a decision that is no doubt trying some men’s souls and causing others to scratch their heads.

In a bizarre experiment being tried only in Massachusetts, the federal government is offering cash to 1,900 anglers to turn in their fishing licenses and abstain from fishing for a year. Anglers can get anywhere from $15 to $500.

Officials from the NOAA say the experiment is not intended to lessen fishing pressure but rather to study the worth of recreational saltwater fishermen in that state. The study is to calculate the economic consequences should an environmental disaster put an end to recreational fishing. More than 1.2 million Massachusetts residents and visitors fish in saltwater in that state annually.


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