Back in the day: A day’s catch of marlin hangs at the dock. During the first half of the last century, such sights weren’t uncommon. There’s a far different sensibility today, widespread if not yet universal.
Should you happen to be among a mixed group of offshore angling enthusiasts and want to stir things up, loudly proclaim that you believe no billfish should ever be killed for the sake of a possible world record — or, conversely, say that killing a billfish for the sake of a possible record is justified.
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Either way, you might want to keep your head down because things could get ugly. This topic has long raised hackles on both sides of the issue.
On the one hand are those who feel that any angler has the right to keep (kill) any fish any time, as long as it’s legal, and it’s really no one else’s business. They feel that questioning this right is simply bowing to the political correctness of fish huggers.
At the other extreme are folks — anglers and nonanglers alike — who believe there’s simply no justifiable reason to kill a billfish (and particularly if to be hung from a scale for the…