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New Method Improves Accuracy of Recreational Catch Estimates

Saltwater Recreational Fishing Image Gallery

Data at Your Fingertips

The new recreational catch estimates are available to the public. See for yourself, and click here to test drive the results. 

Just the Beginning

By developing and implementing a new catch estimation method, we have built the scientific and statistical foundation necessary to make other improvements in recreational data. The next step will be to enhance angler surveys, provide even more precise estimates, and continue with more frequent reporting. This allows NOAA Fisheries to meet the needs of fishermen, stock assessors, managers, and others.

About the Marine Recreational Information Program

  • Provides detailed, timely, scientifically sound estimates that fisheries managers, stock assessors and marine scientists need to ensure the sustainability of ocean resources.
  • Address head-on stakeholder concerns about the reliability and credibility of recreational fishing catch and effort estimates.

For more information about Marine Recreational Information Program, visit our website.













As part of NOAA's ongoing work to improve the accuracy of and confidence in recreational fishing data, NOAA Fisheries and leading experts in the field have developed a new peer-reviewed method for calculating recreational catch estimates. The new technique addresses a major recommendation made by the National Research Council for improving our recreational data collection program and fulfills an important mandate of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

News and Announcements

January 25, 2012 - NOAA unveils improved way to measure saltwater recreational fishing: NOAA today announced that it is using an improved method to estimate the amount of fish caught by saltwater anglers. The technique is part of an overall effort to improve the accuracy of recreational catch data, referred to as the Marine Recreational Information ProgramRead more…

About the Improved Method

The new catch methodology fixes a “mismatch” between the way we collect information from anglers during dockside interviews, and how we use that data to generate catch estimates. There are no consistent trends either in size or direction of change between the improved Marine Recreational Information Program estimates and what has been previously reported. On a species-by-species basis, some estimates go up, some go down, and some remain about the same. However, in all cases, the numbers are more accurate.

Fact Sheet and Case Studies (pdf)

How Do They Do That? Re-estimating Catch

NOAA Fisheries representatives, regional partners, anglers, and outside experts offer an in-depth look at the new recreational catch estimation methodology and what it means for the recreational fishing community.

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