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National Academies releases review of Marine Recreational Information Program

A statement from NOAA Fisheries Chief Scientist Richard Merrick

Today, the National Academies of Sciences released a comprehensive follow-up review to its 2006 independent, expert analysis of NOAA Fisheries’ saltwater recreational data collection efforts. The National Academies recognized the agency for making “impressive progress” over the past 10 years, including “major improvements” to survey designs. The review highlighted some remaining challenges, and also offered a series of recommendations for continued improvement of MRIP surveys.

NOAA Fisheries requested this follow-up review to measure progress made toward implementing recommendations from the Academies’ 2006 report. This review and its findings will help us further refine our recreational fisheries information collection efforts and prioritize our improvement efforts to best meet the evolving needs of fisheries scientists, stock assessors, managers, and stakeholders.

The review specifically noted that methods used in the Access Point Angler Intercept Survey are “a vast improvement over the previous sampling and estimation procedures and reflect state of the art methods in survey sampling.” The Academies also acknowledged that the methodologies associated with the new, mail-based Fishing Effort Survey are “major improvements” over those used with the current Coastal Household Telephone Survey.

The National Academies is the nation’s premier source of independent, expert advice on scientific, engineering, and medical issues. The service to government by the Academies has become so essential that Congress and the White House have issued legislation and executive orders that reaffirm its unique role.

The report can be read here. For more information on NOAA’s commitments to better serve America’s recreational fishing community, visit our recreational fishing webpage.