The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is responsible for collecting information on marine recreational angling. It does so principally through the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP), a survey program that consists of an in-person survey at fishing access sites and a mail survey, in addition to other complementary or alternative surveys. Data collected from anglers through MRIP supply fisheries managers with essential information for assessing fish stocks. In 2006, the National Research Council provided an evaluation of MRIP’s predecessor, the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey (MRFSS). That review, Review of Recreational Fisheries Survey Methods, presented conclusions and recommendations in six categories: sampling issues; statistical estimation issues; human dimensions; program management and support; communication and outreach; and general recommendations.
After spending nearly a decade addressing the recommendations, NMFS requested another evaluation of its modified survey program (MRIP). This report, the result of that evaluation, serves as a 10-year progress report. It recognizes the progress that NMFS has made, including major improvements in the statistical soundness of its survey designs, and also highlights some remaining challenges and provides recommendations for addressing them.