Im­proved Data Col­lec­tion on Flor­ida Red Snap­per

Saltwater Sportsman - - Casts + Blasts -

Build­ing on an agency pri­or­ity of col­lect­ing ac­cu­rate and timely recre­ational fish­ing data, NOAA Fish­eries re­cently an­nounced cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of a new sur­vey de­sign to be used by an­glers fish­ing from pri­vate boats to es­ti­mate red snap­per caught in Flor­ida’s Gulf of Mex­ico wa­ters.

This is one of sev­eral sur­vey de­signs de­vel­oped by the Gulf states in col­lab­o­ra­tion with NOAA Fish­eries to sup­ple­ment the agency’s Ma­rine Recre­ational In­for­ma­tion Pro­gram (MRIP) an­gler sur­veys and im­prove mon­i­tor­ing of the Gulf red snap­per fish­ery.

“Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of Flor­ida’s new sup­ple­men­tal sur­vey de­sign, and sim­i­lar ef­forts in other Gulf states, demon­strates NOAA’S com­mit­ment to col­lab­o­rat­ing with state and re­gional part­ners to ad­vance recre­ational fish­ing data col­lec­tion,” says re­tired Navy Rear Adm. Tim­o­thy Gal­laudet, PH.D., NOAA’S act­ing un­der­sec­re­tary of com­merce for oceans and at­mos­phere. “Work­ing to­gether to meet the states’ unique data needs helps im­prove data qual­ity and pro­vide fish­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for gen­er­a­tions to come.”

Once Flor­ida and NOAA Fish­eries col­lab­o­ra­tively de­velop and im­ple­ment a tran­si­tion plan to in­te­grate the Gulf Reef Fish Sur­vey with the MRIP sur­vey, the re­sult­ing es­ti­mates can be used in fed­eral stock as­sess­ments and fish­ery man­age­ment ac­tions. More­over, the sur­vey is now el­i­gi­ble for fed­eral fund­ing, pend­ing avail­abil­ity, to sup­port im­ple­men­ta­tion ef­forts and on­go­ing im­prove­ments.

“Red snap­per are an im­por­tant re­source re­lied on by count­less com­mu­ni­ties and busi­nesses in the Gulf of Mex­ico,” says Sec­re­tary of Com­merce Wil­bur Ross. “This up­dated sur­vey de­sign, and oth­ers like it, will help the Depart­ment of Com­merce and NOAA en­sure that we’ll con­tinue to en­joy this re­source far into the fu­ture.”

For more about Flor­ida’s Gulf Reef Fish Sur­vey and sim­i­lar ef­forts in other Gulf states, go to count­my­fish.noaa.gov.

TASTY PAY­OFF: Ac­cu­rate and timely data could mean more snap­per for an­glers.

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