The plight of white marlin will test the mettle of fishing conservationists on the US East coast. A potential ESA listing may restrict fishing to save the fish.
What's a fisherman to do? The decline of white marlin is not in dispute, and the need for stringent action is obvious. Some credible fishing conservationists argue against listing, even though white marlin need help. ESA may not be the best tool to help these fish.
But what's the alternative? Will anyone take the plight of white marlin seriously if they're not listed?
The experience of salmon advocates can be informative. Listing of salmon as endangered does disrupt fishing, no question about that. But it seems to be the only thing that gets serious conservation action moving.
All of us fishing conservationists need to decide where we come down...on the side of the fish or on the side of our fishing? What is more important?