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Consensus Study Report


Marine recreational fishing is a popular activity enjoyed by more than 9 million Americans annually and is a driver of the American ocean-or blue-economy. To ensure that fish populations are not overexploited, the NOAA Fisheries' Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) monitors recreational catch through a variety of in-person, telephone, mail-in, and other surveys. NOAA Fisheries' management of recreational catch also must take into account annual catch limits (ACLs) established to prevent overfishing for all managed species in federal waters.

While MRIP has worked to improve recreational catch surveys over the past decade, the surveys were never designed to meet the demands of in-season management of ACLs. In some cases, estimates of harvest have triggered accountability measures such as early season closures and reductions in future recreational ACLs, which have been a source of contention with the recreational fishing community. This report presents approaches for optimizing MRIP data and complementary data for in-season management and considers alternatives for managing recreational fisheries with ACLs to better serve both social and economic management objectives.


Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Data and Management Strategies for Recreational Fisheries with Annual Catch Limits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

222 pages |  7 x 10 | 

  • Paperback:  978-0-309-67157-6
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-67272-6

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