Why are my customers getting interviewed on the dock?
MRIP gathers information from anglers about what they catch by conducting surveys at recreational fishing sites. These voluntary surveys are conducted to gather accurate information that is vital for producing scientifically sound recreational fishing estimates. This information, when combined with other fisheries data, is critical in making fisheries management decisions.
Who conducts the surveys? What do they do?
Our state and regional partners are vital to the success of MRIP. Highly trained state samplers conduct the angler catch surveys. Samplers are assigned to a specific site during a specific time of day. Their job is to count and interview all anglers at each site and measure and weigh all catch. Because it is important that we survey ALL potential fishing sites, there may be times when a sampler is on-site observing “zero activity.” This is an important part of the job. Samplers may also have to leave a site before all the fishing activity is completed to travel to another site as part of that day’s assignment.
Why is there more than one sampler at the same site?
We conduct different surveys to gather catch data on different types of fish. In addition to the angler catch survey that interviews recreational anglers, we conduct a mandatory Large Pelagics Survey on the Atlantic Coast. This survey is mandatory for captains with an LPS permit. There may be times when field samplers conduct both surveys at the same fishing site. The surveys are part of a systematic program to ensure that we’re gathering the right information for the right purpose.
Do interviewers report fishing regulation violations?
No. A sampler’s ONLY job is to count and interview all anglers during the specific assignment period, and to weigh and measure all the fish observed. We do not require any personal information, nor check for licenses, registrations or permits. This is to maximize compliance with our voluntary survey to ensure we’re collecting the most accurate information possible. Anglers may volunteer their name and a phone number to verify that the field staff was conducting the survey in the proper place and time, and following the appropriate procedures.
Are my customers required to cooperate? Am I?
No. However, we strongly encourage you to do so, and ask that you urge your customers to participate as well. Getting accurate information from these surveys is key to ensuring that fishing regulations are fair, effective, and capable of safeguarding the sustainability of recreational fishing – now, and for generations to come.