NOAA Fisheries Reissues Policy for Transitioning to New Recreational Fishing Surveys

September 11, 2019

A revised policy directive formally documents the Marine Recreational Information Program’s survey certification process as a key step in transitioning to a new or improved data collection design.

Fishing Rods_Florida FWC.jpg

Fishing rods at sunset on an Escribano Point Wildlife Management Area beach. (Photo: Florida FWC)

NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Science and Technology has reissued a policy directive on the process of transitioning to a new or improved recreational fishing data collection design.

As first issued, the directive recognized that making changes to NOAA Fisheries’ recreational fishing surveys can lead to changes in the agency’s recreational catch and effort estimates. The policy directive also stated that a Transition Plan must be developed to account for these changes. It must also account for the time and effort it takes to integrate new estimates into existing time series and incorporate calibrated statistics into fisheries science and management.

Now, the Policy Directive 04-114 (PDF, 4 pages):

  • Formally documents the Marine Recreational Information Program’s (MRIP’s) existing survey certification process as a key step in transitioning to a new or improved data collection design.
  • Establishes that only those survey designs that have been certified or are on the path to certification are eligible to receive technical and/or financial support for implementation from MRIP.

Certified survey and estimation methods meet a shared set of standards, undergo independent peer review, and receive approval from the MRIP Executive Steering Committee. The certification process ensures new or improved survey designs are capable of producing statistics that meet the requirements of the Information Quality Act. They must also be accepted as Best Scientific Information Available under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Over the past eight years, NOAA Fisheries has certified six survey designs.

Procedural Directive 04-114-02 (PDF, 10 pages) has been issued with this revised policy. It describes the process of reviewing and certifying survey designs and documenting and archiving survey design details.