This review and having needed changes implemented are what many of us with an interest in Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries have been begging for a long time!
NRC to Conduct Review of MRIP Progress and Improvements
NOAA Assistant Administrator for Fisheries Eileen Sobeck announced this week that the Agency is committed to working with the National Research Council (NRC) to conduct an independent review of the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP).
The decision comes at the recommendation of the MRIP Executive Steering Committee (ESC), and was announced in conjunction with the release of the new National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy 2015-2018 National Implementation Plan.
The timing of the ESC recommendation coincides with the recent launch of the new mail-based Fishing Effort Survey (FES). Improvements incorporated into the FES address a major concern raised in the NRC’s 2006 review of NOAA’s recreational catch and effort data collection, estimation, and reporting methods. By sampling from comprehensive lists of postal addresses, as well as lists of licensed anglers, the FES maximizes coverage of the population without sacrificing efficiency.
The FES complements previous work we have undertaken to address other NRC concerns. This work includes fixing a mismatch between the way catch data was collected and how those data were used to make estimates; removing sources of bias from the design of angler catch surveys; developing the National Saltwater Angler Registry to support FES sampling; and working to engage a broad array of scientists, managers, and stakeholders in every aspect of the MRIP process – from the priorities we set, to the studies we conduct, to the way we share our data.
As outlined in the annual MRIP Implementation Plans, the improvements to date do not represent an endpoint in the MRIP process. Rather, they are milestones in what is intended to be an ongoing cycle of evaluation, research, and implementation that will ensure NOAA’s data collection methods continually evolve to meet the changing needs of scientists, stock assessors, managers, and stakeholders.
The NRC review will provide an objective, independent analysis of our response to the 2006 recommendations, which were incorporated into federal law as part of the Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act. It will also detail our progress in meeting our commitments to Congress
and the recreational fishing community to address these issues through a process that is scientifically sound, statistically robust, collaborative, and transparent.
The ESC anticipates that the NRC assessment will be concluded in time for the results to be included in the next NOAA Fisheries fishery-dependent data collection program review, which is a part of the regular five-year cycle of the Agency’s Science Program Reviews.
To learn more about the improvements MRIP is making, visit our website at www.countmyfish.noaa.gov.