NOAA recently announced it has started to use an improved method to estimate the amount of fish caught by saltwater anglers, which will allow rules that fishermen follow to be based on more accurate information.
The method is part of an overall effort to improve the accuracy of recreational catch data collected by the Marine Recreational Information Program and was developed by a team of NOAA scientists and outside experts.
“The new estimation method is a fundamental change that better reflects what is happening on the water and within the recreational fishing community,” said Eric Schwaab, NOAA’s acting assistant secretary of commerce for conservation and management. “Better, more accurate estimates can only be a plus for the saltwater recreational fishing industry, which provides jobs for many Americans and contributes to the economic vitality of our coastal communities.”
The agency released recalculated estimates going back to 2004 using the new method.
Click here to view comparisons of recreational catch estimates using the previous method and the revised method.
In related news, the U.S. government is imposing limits on the number of fish that commercial and recreational fishermen can catch in the waters it controls in the Caribbean, saying previous types of restrictions haven't protected dwindling populations of dozens of species.