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Implementing Electronic Reporting: The MRIP Action Plan

March 08, 2018

This fact sheet outlines the Marine Recreational Information Program's four-action plan to advance electronic reporting technologies.

Implementing Electronic Reporting: The MRIP Action Plan (PDF, 1 page) outlines the Marine Recreational Information Program's four-action plan to advance the use of electronic reporting in recreational fishing data collection. It also provides a snapshot of the supporting actions we had completed at the time of the plan's publication.

Progress Toward the Plan

Action 1: Evaluate Electronic Reporting Options for the FES

In response to a recommendation from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the Marine Recreational Information Program completed a pilot study to compare our existing Fishing Effort Survey design with a mailing that encouraged (or “pushed”) recipients to complete an online questionnaire before a paper questionnaire was provided. Testing a Web-push Design for Estimating Recreational Fishing Effort (PDF, 44 pages) evaluates the web-push design using several survey performance metrics. Findings include:

  • The web-push design decreased response rates.
  • The web-push design decreased the timeliness of data collection.
  • A web-push design is not as effective as our current survey approach.

Action 2: Examine New Private Angler ER Options

The Marine Recreational Information Program has contributed to multiple reports on the potential uses of mobile applications in collecting recreational fishing data and producing population-level estimates of recreational catch.

  • Research and Evaluation Team Review of the iAngler and iSnapper Reporting Programs (2019) (PDF, 15 pages) identifies the strengths and limitations of two data collection program designs that use opt-in smartphone applications to collect information from anglers. It also summarizes an external review (Electronic Reporting in Survey Research Applied to Estimating Fishing Effort (PDF, 93 pages)) of the sampling approach that informed them. Finally, it includes recommendations for further research.
  • A Review of Nonprobability Sampling Using Mobile Apps for Fishing Effort and Catch Surveys (2021) explores whether data collected as part of a non-probability sample through a mobile app can produce the recreational catch and effort estimates needed for fisheries policy decisions. It examines current approaches to collecting recreational fishing data, outlines the potential biases of both probability and non-probability designs, and describes the challenges non-probability surveys must face if they are to produce high-quality estimates. It also describes potential uses for non-probability survey data, such as the documentation of shifts in marine species ranges, occurrences of invasive species, or observations of fish health.
  • Data and Management Strategies for Recreational Fisheries with Annual Catch Limits (2021) considers the use of mobile apps in improving the timeliness of recreational fishing data, but does not include recommendations for NOAA Fisheries or its partners to further explore or use apps as a mode of data collection.

    Action 3: Continue to Focus on For-Hire

    The development, certification, and implementation of for-hire electronic trip reporting programs remains a Marine Recreational Information Program priority. Developing For-Hire Electronic Logbooks: The MRIP Road Map includes a timeline of tasks that will move us toward our goal.

    Action 4: Strengthen Stakeholder Engagement

    We continue to build on our work to keep stakeholders informed of our efforts to advance the appropriate use of electronic reporting in recreational fishing data collection.

Last updated by Office of Science and Technology on 06/07/2022

Marine Recreational Information Program Electronic Reporting