About the Marine Recreational Information Program
The MRIP partnership generates the marine recreational fisheries statistics needed to assess and maintain sustainable fish stocks.
The Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) is a state-regional-federal partnership that develops, improves, and implements a network of surveys to measure total recreational fishing catch. Through these surveys, anglers and captains report the number of recreational fishing trips taken and the number of fish caught to NOAA Fisheries and our state and regional partners. When combined with commercial catch data, biological research, and direct observation of a fishery, these recreational catch and effort estimates help scientists and managers assess and maintain sustainable fish stocks.
Our surveys provide reliable information to support effective and fair fisheries management. Our methods of data collection are:
- National in scope but regionally specific, recognizing that the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts, the Pacific Islands, Alaska, and the Caribbean have unique information needs and data collection concerns.
- Flexible enough to be updated, modified, expanded, or contracted to meet regional information needs.
- Robust enough to provide the most precise and least biased information possible.
- Inclusive and transparent, providing scientists, managers, and stakeholders an opportunity to participate in their development and use.
What MRIP Does
Protecting our ocean resources and safeguarding recreational fishing opportunities requires the cooperation and engagement of a broad network of partners, from saltwater anglers and marine scientists to stock assessors and fishery managers. As part of the fisheries science and management cycle, the Marine Recreational Information Program:
- Develops survey and estimation methods.
- Upholds data collection and estimation standards.
- Produces estimates of total recreational catch.
Our partnership is made up of marine scientists, stock assessors, fishery managers, and other stakeholders who oversee the evolution, improvement, and implementation of our network of surveys. Collaborative teams allow partners and stakeholders to work with MRIP to ensure data collected through our surveys are held to the highest standard.
In 1976, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act mandated the sustainable management of U.S. fisheries through plans that considered both recreational and commercial harvest data. In 1979, the Marine Recreational Fishery Statistics Survey (MRFSS) was established to estimate the impact of recreational fishing on marine resources. In 2008, MRIP replaced MRFSS to meet increasing demand for more precise, accurate, and timely recreational catch estimates.
Until 2013, recreational catch, effort, and participation were estimated through a suite of independent but complementary surveys: telephone surveys of households and for-hire vessel operators that collected information about recreational fishing activity, and an angler intercept survey that collected information about the fish that were caught. In 2013, we implemented a new Access Point Angler Intercept Survey to remove sources of potential bias from our sampling process. In 2015, we launched a new household Fishing Effort Survey to improve efficiency and minimize the risk of error in private boat and shore effort estimates. Changes to the design and coverage of our recreational fishing surveys and other milestones in collecting recreational fishing data are captured in a timeline.