The old system that NMFS used to collect recreational fishing data (afer much complaining from recreationals) was deemed to be inadequate. So this new program has been instituted. The big problem is that MRFSS uses to sources to collect data ataht is fed into their computer programs: 1). A telephone survey to determine EFFORT. 2) Dockside surveys to determine what the angers are chatching.
NMFS , in an effort to improve their computer models that determine what recreationals catch from year to year, will stop random telphone dialing of all coastal commuitites and rely on the new MRIP program (Marine Recreational INformation Program9==or simply the , now-being-compiled, telephone book listing of recreational angers , so the measure of effort can be directed at persons who actually fish recreationally, rather than randomly calling numbers of anyone who has a telephone(most who are not fishermen).
And by the way...the NMFS has now moved the implimention date for the MRIP telephone book another year to 2010...
The other half of MRFSS colletion method: the dockside surveys, always questioned, have come under increased scrutiny as there are reports that fraud has been perpetuated by the surveyors employed by the subcontractor of NMFS. From what I understand much time was spent at the last Mid Atlantic Council meeting discussing rumors of surveyors reporting catch data to Macro INC , when in fact they never went to the dockside (assigned site for the survey).
The new MRIP was expected to restore confidence in the MRFSS (by recreational anglers). There is no way that correcting half the problem will solve the entire (whole) problem.
NMFS must to go back to the drawing board to correct the dockside intercept problems.
Bob Allen PSWSFA VCAC