NOAA recently announced the use of an improved method to estimate the amount of fish caught by saltwater anglers. Scientists expect the new method to result in more accurate estimates of recreational fishing catches.
NOAA will use the new method to calculate estimates for the Atlantic coast and Gulf of Mexico for use in fishery management and stock assessment by NOAA, regional fishery management councils and states.
The method is part of an overall effort to improve the accuracy of recreational catch data collected by the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP). The improved estimation method was developed by a team of NOAA scientists and outside experts.
NOAA also released recalculated estimates going back to 2004 using the new method. The revised data will be used by the regional fishery management councils, the states, and other stakeholders in their fisheries science and management programs.
A major part of the Marine Recreational Information Program is the National Saltwater Angler Registry. Scientists hope the angler registry will improve the accuracy of fishing effort estimates by increasing the proportion of fishing households that are surveyed.
According to NOAA, additional improvements to increase the accuracy of the estimates are being developed, including revised dockside survey methods, testing of approaches to improving data timeliness, and use of electronic logbooks in the for-hire vessel sector.
To learn more about the Marine Recreational Information Program, go to: http://www.CountMyFish.noaa.gov
source: NOAA press release