Preliminary National Standards for Recreational Survey Coverage and Basic Data Elements

These preliminary standards are intended to establish basic requirements regarding the coverage for, and basic data required to be produced by, conforming surveys of marine recreational fishing catch and effort. In general, these standards are necessary to provide an annual assessment of marine recreational fishing catch and effort for each state and for the nation, consistent with the publication requirements for Fisheries of the United States and Fisheries Economics of the U.S and for the purpose of determining and evaluating conservation and management measures for marine recreational fisheries and achieving optimum yield of the Nation’s fisheries on a continuing basis. The preliminary standards address basic survey coverage and data content requirements. In the future, the Marine Recreational Information Program will develop and publish supplements to these standards that may include, but not be limited to, standards and best practices for survey and sample design and estimation methodology, survey management and operations, data quality assurance and quality control, and survey data quality.

Coverage Standards

Surveys produce annual estimates by regions and for each state within a region. Regions are as identified in 50 CFR 600.1417(b)(1). States are as defined in 16 U.S.C. 1802. Surveys cover all recreational fishing for marine, estuarine and anadromous finfish in all marine waters and estuaries bordering the states.

Required Data Elements

The following estimates are produced not less frequently than annually for each state in a region:

  1. Number of recreational fishing days;
  2. Number of participating recreational fishers and number of participating for-hire fishing vessels derived from survey estimates or from directories based on license or registration data;
  3. Recreational catch and landings in numbers of fish for each species (or, where multi-species groups are managed or assessed as a unit, by such species group), and further specified as:
    1. By mode of fishing, including at a minimum, shore, private boat and for-hire modes; and
    2. By area fished, including, at a minimum, EEZ, territorial sea, and internal waters of the state, or other primary jurisdictions applicable to regional management.
  4. Unless not utilized in management or stock assessment for the species, mean weights of fish landed for each species (or, where multi-species groups are managed or assessed as a unit, by such species group), and further specified as:
    1. By mode of fishing, including, at a minimum, shore, private boat and for-hire modes; and
    2. By area fished, including, at a minimum, EEZ, territorial sea and internal waters of the state, or other primary jurisdictions applicable to regional management.
  5. Mean lengths and weights of fish caught and released for each species, wherever direct observations and measurements can be obtained.