BOSTON (AP) - The federal government is paying Massachusetts sport fishermen to give up their fishing licenses for a year.
Federal officials tell The Boston Globe that the offer isn't about reducing fishing, but is part of an experiment to calculate the loss if an environmental disaster forced sport fishing to stop.
As part of the $145,000 survey, 500 fishermen are being offered from $15 to $500 to give up their license for a year, 700 will get a hypothetical cash offer and 700 will be asked if they'd be willing to pay another amount for the $10 fishing permit.
Researchers hope to combine the data and figure out the dollar value recreational fishermen put on the chance to fish.
Some fishermen say they are concerned the data could be used to increase permit costs or restrict fishing.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)