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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Marine Recreational Information Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24640.
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Review of the Marine Recreational
Information Program

Committee on the Review of the
Marine Recreational Information Program

Ocean Studies Board

Division on Earth and Life Studies

A Consensus Study Report of

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Marine Recreational Information Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24640.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

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
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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.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Marine Recreational Information Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24640.
×

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The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Marine Recreational Information Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24640.
×

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Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Marine Recreational Information Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24640.
×

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

Staff

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

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Marine Recreational Information Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24640.
×

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

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Marine Recreational Information Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24640.
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Preface

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

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Marine Recreational Information Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24640.
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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

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Marine Recreational Information Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24640.
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Acknowledgments

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),

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Marine Recreational Information Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24640.
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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.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Marine Recreational Information Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24640.
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The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is responsible for collecting information on marine recreational angling. It does so principally through the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP), a survey program that consists of an in-person survey at fishing access sites and a mail survey, in addition to other complementary or alternative surveys. Data collected from anglers through MRIP supply fisheries managers with essential information for assessing fish stocks. In 2006, the National Research Council provided an evaluation of MRIP’s predecessor, the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey (MRFSS). That review, Review of Recreational Fisheries Survey Methods, presented conclusions and recommendations in six categories: sampling issues; statistical estimation issues; human dimensions; program management and support; communication and outreach; and general recommendations.

After spending nearly a decade addressing the recommendations, NMFS requested another evaluation of its modified survey program (MRIP). This report, the result of that evaluation, serves as a 10-year progress report. It recognizes the progress that NMFS has made, including major improvements in the statistical soundness of its survey designs, and also highlights some remaining challenges and provides recommendations for addressing them.

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