Review of the Marine Recreational
Committee on the Review of the
Marine Recreational Information Program
Ocean Studies Board
Division on Earth and Life Studies
A Consensus Study Report of
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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This study was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under Award Number WC133R-11-CQ-0048, TO #10. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.
International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-45374-5
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-45374-7
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/24640
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Suggested citation: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Marine Recreational Information Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/24640.
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COMMITTEE ON THE REVIEW OF THE MARINE RECREATIONAL INFORMATION PROGRAM
LUIZ BARBIERI, Co-Chair, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, St. Petersburg
CYNTHIA M. JONES, Co-Chair, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia
JILL A. DEVER, RTI International, Washington, D.C.
DAVID HAZIZA, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
JEFFREY C. JOHNSON, University of Florida, Gainesville
BRUCE M. LEAMAN, International Pacific Halibut Commission, Seattle, Washington
THOMAS J. MILLER, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Solomons
SEAN P. POWERS, University of South Alabama, Mobile
STEVE WILLIAMS, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, Portland, Oregon
STACEE KARRAS, Program Officer, Ocean Studies Board
DAVID POLICANSKY, Scholar, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology
MICHAEL COHEN, Senior Program Officer, Committee on National Statistics
PAYTON KULINA, Senior Program Assistant, Ocean Studies Board
ALLIE PHILLIPS, Program Assistant, Ocean Studies Board
OCEAN STUDIES BOARD
LARRY A. MAYER, Chair, University of New Hampshire, Durham
E. VIRGINIA ARMBRUST, University of Washington, Seattle
KEVIN R. ARRIGO, Stanford University, California
CLAUDIA BENITEZ-NELSON, University of South Carolina, Columbia
RITA R. COLWELL, University of Maryland, College Park
SARAH W. COOKSEY, State of Delaware, Dover
CORTIS K. COOPER, Chevron Corporation, San Ramon, California
DAVID HALPERN, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
SUSAN E. HUMPHRIS, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
BONNIE J. MCCAY, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey
STEVEN A. MURAWSKI, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg
JOHN A. ORCUTT, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California
H. TUBA ÖZKAN-HALLER, Oregon State University, Corvallis
MARTIN D. SMITH, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
MARGARET SPRING, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, California
DON WALSH, International Maritime Incorporated, Myrtle Point, Oregon
DOUGLAS WARTZOK, Florida International University, Miami
LISA D. WHITE, University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco State University
OSB Staff Members
SUSAN ROBERTS, Director
CLAUDIA MENGELT, Senior Program Officer
STACEE KARRAS, Program Officer
PAMELA LEWIS, Administrative Coordinator
PAYTON KULINA, Senior Program Assistant
ALLIE PHILLIPS, Program Assistant
SHUBHA BANSKOTA, Financial Associate
In 2004, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) requested that the National Research Council (NRC; now referred to as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, or “the National Academies”), review data collection for marine recreational fisheries in the United States, and specifically the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey (MRFSS). The NRC formed a committee comprising 10 experts in fishery science and statistics, which released its report, Review of Recreational Fisheries Survey Methods, in 2006. Together, the recommendations of the 2006 report called for a considerable redesign of the entire survey program to update survey methods to reduce bias, increase efficiencies, and allow for greater stakeholder trust and better relations with the recreational angling community.
Since 2007, in response to the NRC report, NMFS has worked to improve the survey program, primarily by transitioning from the MRFSS to the redesigned Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP). A decade after the release of the 2006 report, NMFS requested the National Academies conduct a second study to evaluate how well and to what extent NMFS has addressed the NRC’s recommendations. The current report is a result of this latest effort.
The need for this evaluation is clear. Provisions in the 2006 reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act greatly increased the demand for high-quality and timely data that can be used for assessment and management of marine fish stocks. However, because of the shortcomings of the MRFSS, NMFS faced a lack of confidence in providing the quality data needed for managing recreational fisheries. Having an independent and objective review of the progress made since implementation of the
MRIP should address many of the previous concerns and help reassure anglers and stakeholders.
Producing this report was a difficult challenge because of the complexity and multidisciplinary nature of the issues involved. Throughout the study, NMFS was always responsive to the committee’s numerous questions and requests for information. In particular, we thank the MRIP staff for their patience and openness in addressing questions about the program, and Dr. Ned Cyr, director of the Office of Science and Technology, for setting the stage for this review.
The committee is also grateful to the many individuals who played a role in the completion of this study. The committee met four times and would like to extend its gratitude to all the individuals from regional councils, state fisheries agencies, recreational and commercial fisheries organizations, environmental conservation organizations, and others who appeared before the full committee or otherwise provided background information and discussed pertinent issues.
Finally, the committee sincerely thanks the National Academies’ staff for their valuable support and extra efforts to facilitate the rapid completion of the report without compromising quality: Stacee Karras (Study Director), David Policansky (Scholar), Michael Cohen (Senior Program Officer), Payton Kulina (Senior Program Assistant), and Allie Phillips (Program Assistant).
Cynthia Jones and Luiz Barbieri, Committee Co-Chairs
The committee would especially like to thank the National Marine Fisheries Service staff and contractors for their invaluable assistance in providing background documents requested by the committee and for their participation in meetings and on calls. In particular, the committee thanks Ned Cyr, David Van Voorhees, Gordon Colvin, Tom Sminkey, John Foster, Rob Andrews, Leah Sharpe, Lauren Dolinger Few, and David Bard.
This report was also greatly enhanced by discussions with participants at the committee’s meetings as part of this study. The committee would like to especially acknowledge the efforts of those who gave presentations at these meetings: Rob Andrews (NOAA), Michael Armstrong (Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries), David Bard (NOAA Contractor), Tom Baum (New Jersey Department of Fish and Wildlife), Bob Beal (Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission), Harry Blanchet (Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries), David Blazer (Maryland Department of Natural Resources), John Boreman (Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, Scientific and Statistical Committee), Zack Bowen (Charter Boat Captain), Richen Brame (Coastal Conservation Association), Gregg Bray (Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission), Jay Breidt (Colorado State University), Kenneth Brennan (NOAA), Mike Brown (California Department of Fish and Wildlife), John Carmichael (SAFMC), Brittany Chudzik (Mississippi Department of Marine Resources), Gordon Colvin (NOAA Contractor), Roy Crabtree (Southeast Regional Office), Ned Cyr (NOAA), E.J. Dick (Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA), Lauren Dolinger Few (NOAA), Michelle Duval (South Atlantic Fishery Management Council), Daniel Erickson (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife), Mark Fisher (Texas Parks and Wildlife), Brad Floyd (South Carolina Department of Natural Resources), John Foster (NOAA),
John Froeschke (Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council), Chad Hanson (The Pew Charitable Trusts), Michael Kelly (CLS America), Kathy Knowlton (Georgia Coastal Resources Division), Mike Leonard (American Sportfishing Association), Chris Macaluso (Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership), Richard Merrick (NOAA), Doug Mumford (North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries), Corey Niles (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife), Jean Opsomer (Colorado State University), Todd Phillips (The Ocean Conservancy), Clay Porch (Southeast Fisheries Science Center), Beverly Sauls (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission), Leah Sharpe (NOAA Contractor), Tom Sminkey (NOAA), Lynne Stokes (Southern Methodist University), David Van Voorhees (NOAA), Geoff White (Access Point Angler Intercept Survey), and Dan Wolford (Coastside Fishing Club).
This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.
We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Mike Brick, Westat, Inc., Rockville, MD
Michele Culver, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Montesano
Bonnie McCay, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Stockton
Steven Murawski, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg
Louis-Paul Rivest, Université Laval, Quebec, Canada
Kenneth Rose, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
Carl Schwarz, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada
Patrick Sullivan, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Geoff White, Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program, Arlington, VA
Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by John Dowling, Harvard University, and Andrew Solow, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.