NOAA 2001-R148
Contact: Gordon Helm

NuStats to Conduct National Marine Recreational Fishing Survey

The National Marine Fisheries Service, an agency of the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today announced a contract award worth almost $4 million over the next three years to NuStats of Austin, Texas. The firm will conduct surveys that track the fishing effort of recreational saltwater anglers throughout the country.

NuStats will conduct the 2002 marine recreational fishing telephone surveys as part of the NOAA fisheries' annual Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey. The survey includes random digit dialing of coastal county households along the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coasts to estimate effort for private boat and shore fishing.

The recreational survey is comprised of three independent surveys: (1) a telephone survey of households to collect data on the number of salt water angling trips taken by private boat and shore anglers, (2) a weekly telephone survey of charter and head boat operators to collect data on the number of salt water angling trips taken by charter and head boat anglers, and (3) a field survey of anglers' catch information.

The agency estimates that more than one million telephone interviews with coastal county households will be conducted over the three-year period. After implementation of the new charter and head boat telephone survey in 2002, approximately 13,000 interviews with boat operators will be conducted annually on the Atlantic coast north of Florida and in the U.S. Caribbean.

The Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey has been conducted since 1979 and allows the agency to manage the nation's fisheries resources and assess the impact recreational fishing has on the nation's economy and the nation's living marine resources. Management goals of the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act make it necessary for NOAA fisheries to collect data on marine recreational fishery catches.

NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation's living marine resources through scientific research, management, enforcement, and the conservation of marine mammals and other protected marine species and their habitat.

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