So you’re a charter boat captain out of Montauk and your livelihood depends of customers paying to catch fish. Faced with a shortage of fish do you (a) control your catch, in the hope that the stocks will replenish themselves or (b) encourage your 150 customers per day to catch, keep and eat undersized fish?
At least two captains were just caught opting for plan B. They no doubt figured it was better to keep current customers happy than bank on the future. These two boats have doubtless been pulling the same stunt day in and day out for years. Multiply that by the thousands of other charter boats doing the same thing and the affect of recreational fishing on vanishing fish stock is probably as significant as that of the Japanese fleet. That’s not good.