12/1/20 – SAFMC News Release: MyFishCount Electronic Reporting Program Moves to Angler Action Foundation

NEWS RELEASE 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 1, 2020
(PDF - click here)

CONTACT:
Kim Iverson/843-571-4366/kim.iverson@safmc.net

Voluntary pilot project for recreational anglers demonstrates usefulness of electronic reporting

MyFishCount, an electronic reporting pilot project for recreational anglers, is taking
another step in its development by transitioning operations to the Angler Action Foundation in December 2020. The pilot project, now in its third year, allows recreational anglers in the South Atlantic region the opportunity to submit information about their fishing trips and catches through an electronic platform. The pilot project consists of a website and mobile app co-created by the Angler Action Foundation and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council through a grant from NOAA Fisheries.

“We’re excited about this transition and extend a warm welcome to recreational anglers using MyFishCount,” said Brett Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the Angler Action Foundation. “Working with anglers, fishery managers and scientists in the development of MyFishCount has been a rewarding experience. Other than a slight change in the logo, users of MyFishCount should not notice any changes in appearances or performance of the mobile app or website.”  The Angler Action Foundation is dedicated to improving angler access, fisheries science and marine habitat through collaborative research, education and conservation programs. Formerly the Snook and Gamefish Foundation, the organization has been involved in the development of electronic reporting platforms, including iAngler, to help improve the quality of fisheries data and supplement existing monitoring efforts.

The launch of MyFishCount coincided with the opening of the recreational Red Snapper season in late fall of 2017. Since that time, the project has expanded to allow year-round reporting of multiple species, both saltwater and freshwater. With input from MyFishCount users, the mobile app became more user-friendly with the addition of requested enhancements including a tally feature and marine weather information. MyFishCount can also be used as a personal fishing log, recording details of each fishing trip.

“Under the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s leadership, MyFishCount has been a huge step forward for recreational data collection,” said Kellie Ralston, Southeast Fisheries Policy Director for the American Sportfishing Association. “This advanced electronic reporting platform allows anglers to provide valuable catch data to help inform fisheries management decisions,” explained Ralston. “We look forward to continued advances as the program transitions from the Council to the Angler Action Foundation.”

Information provided through MyFishCount will continue to be housed and made available to fishery managers and researchers through the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP), a data warehouse involving both state and federal partners. Storage of MyFishCount data within ACCSP will help ensure data are available with other data sources used for fishery management purposes. “MyFishCount provides valuable insight into electronic reporting as the Council continues to explore options for improving recreational fisheries data,” said Mel Bell, Chair of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

“We are grateful to the Angler Action Foundation, NOAA Fisheries, Elemental Methods, ACCSP, Council staff, and others involved in the MyFishCount pilot project. We are most grateful for the dedicated users of MyFishCount and continue to encourage recreational fishermen to do their part in making their fish count by downloading and using the mobile app today.”

For additional information, visit myfishcount.com.