Costa Rica has mandated circle hooks for sportfishing. The IGFA's Mike Loach looks at this and other regulations aimed at sportfishermen and concludes this and other U.S. oriented regulations fail to address the real problems of offshore fisheries. Read Loach's editorial below.
Fishery managers have long been quick to regulate recreational anglers and far too slow to focus on the real cause of over fishing which as they well know is commercial fishing.Sport fishers take about 2 or 3 percent of the fish that commercials do, but it seems we are the easy targets to regulate.
Recent examples of what seems to many of us as regulations simply for the sake of regulations are these.
U.S. sport fishers are limited to landing a total of 250 blue and white marlin per year in the Atlantic.We account for 2 tenths of 1% of white marlin mortality, and not much more for blues.Commercial fishers, mostly longliners, kill the rest.
None of these regulations will have any measurable conservation benefit, most will have virtually no enforcement, but all of them cost the government lots of money to create and oversee.All this effort should be directed towards those that have depleted all our big game fish and it's not recreational anglers.
We, as sport fishers, are too complacent when it comes to being regulated against.We should demand that the government show that any new recreational regulations will have some conservation benefits.
I use circle hooks for sailfish as a personal choice.I donft think it should be a law and I donft believe recreational anglers with our strong catch and release ethic are a threat to the health of billfish stocks.Let's stop accepting all these meaningless regulations.Enough already!