(NEWSLETTER – Summer 2019)
From the Executive Director’s Desk:
A Call for Private Recreational Reporting
As technology continues to advance and mobile applications become readily available, we see the real benefits of recreational reporting. For example, Alabama recently announced the extension of their red snapper season for private anglers based on data collected using their reporting app! https://www.thefishingwire.com/releases/04d1845f-e3a2-4ef8-846e-7712070f375d
Amazing what can be done when you have a mandatory and timely angler reporting program that has been fully certified by NOAA/NMFS. And although the quotas for red snapper in those regions are quite different than what we currently have in the South Atlantic, recreational reporting still drives real time actions in federal and state management.
Congratulations to our Federal partners for exploring electronic recreational reporting (NOAA Fisheries Explores Electronic Reporting as Supplemental Source of Recreational Fishing Data). NOAA has continued funding MyFishCount for an additional year in the South Atlantic Council’s area. The recreational sector will be well served by this voluntary pilot program with better and more timely data on their fishing.
- Data on fishing trips canceled in MyFishCount due to weather was used in 2017 to extend the red snapper season.
- Data on where fish are caught and released may result in adjustments to the private recreational release mortality level used in stock assessments.
- Data on size of fish released may be considered in stock assessments to help fill data gaps.
To get better data, you, private recreational anglers, need to step up and report your fishing trips. This is your resource and the best available data will be used by the Council to manage your fishing. Until further improvements are made, MRIP estimates are considered best data and will be used to track and manage fisheries. So, if you want to reduce the likelihood that MRIP intercepting one successful trip can result in the total Annual Catch Limit (ACL) for the entire year being met or exceeded, resulting in a closure, REPORT! It’s that simple. Once the reporting percentage is high enough, the data are validated, and MyFishCount is certified (similar to the Alabama app), your data can be used to help inform management and may prevent early closures. This will not happen overnight but if you start voluntary reporting now, the process can begin.
I would like to express our thanks to partners working to fund, develop, and/or promote MyFishCount:
- Development – Angler Action Foundation, Elemental Methods, & Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program
- Promotion – American Sportfishing Association, Coastal Conservation Association, and Yamaha Marine
- Use – Private Recreational Anglers
- Funding – NOAA/NMFS/MRIP; the Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce; and Chris Oliver, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries
Permitting and Reporting Amendment – the Council will continue discussions on permitting and reporting by private recreational anglers fishing in the Federal waters for snapper grouper species in Amendment 46 at the December 2-6, 2019 meeting in Wilmington, NC.
Stay tuned as the Council continues to work through these issues.
Get Involved! Let your voice be heard!