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Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP)

     The Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP), previously known as the Marine Recreational Fishery Statistics Survey (MRFSS), is a confidential, voluntary survey implemented in 1979 by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) as a means to establish a reliable database for estimating the impact of recreational fishing on marine resources.  This survey is conducted in all Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal states.  The information is used by Fishery Management Councils, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), as well as Federal and State resource agencies to formulate fishery management plans, to evaluate future demands on fish stocks, and to predict and evaluate the impact of fishery regulations.

     The MRIP is designed as a complementary two-part survey comprised of a field component and a telephone component.  Numerous studies have proven that this two-pronged approach provides more accurate information than a single survey, because the field and telephone surveys are specifically designed to collect different, yet compatible information.  Briefly, field interviews are conducted at the end of an anglers fishing trip at fishing access sites, while the telephone survey is a random digit dial survey of households.

     Estimates generated from this survey include: total numbers of fish caught, released and harvested; weight of the harvest; total number of angler trips; and number of people participating in marine recreational fishing.  Maine DMR assumed responsibility for conducting the MRIP field component in Maine in 1996, giving us the ability to increase the number of angler interviews collected beyond the NMFS requirements.  This in turn has given us a significantly improved database that generates more precise estimates.

     Three fishing mode categories are targeted during field assignments: shore, private boats, and charter and head boats (the latter two are referred to as "for-hire" boats).  Water access sites with these fishing modes are randomly assigned each month for interview collection.  The frequency of site selection is based on the relative fishing activity estimated to exist at each site for each month.

 

     Figure 1, below, shows the number of interviews obtained at each site during the 2013 season. 


Total number of interviews in Maine during 2013.

Figure 1.  Number of interviews obtained from each site from May through October.


     During Maine's 2013 May 1 - October 31 sampling season, 1,116 angler interviews were obtained at water access sites (launching ramps, marinas, docks, beaches, jetties) from Kittery to Eastport.  An additional 155 interviews of head boat anglers were obtained on 10 ride-along sampling trips.  Combining the head boat angler interviews with the water access site interviews, a grand total of 1,271 angler interviews were collected.  Specifically, by fishing mode, we interviewed 578 shore anglers, 455 private boat anglers, 83 anglers who fished on charter boats (and the 155 anglers who fished on ride-along head boat trips).

    

   
Briefly, some of the 2013 data estimate highlights:
(Please note that all 2013 estimates are preliminary and have not yet been finalized by NMFS.)

  • How many fishing trips did anglers make in Maine?

       Anglers made over 593,365 individual fishing trips.  For a picture of the five year trend in effort, by mode, see Figure 2.

 

The number of saltwater recreational fishing trips in Maine by mode.
Figure 2. Individual saltwater recreational fishing trips in Maine from 2009 - 2013.
(*Data from 2013 is preliminary)

 

  • Where did anglers come from?
    Anglers came from 16 of Maine's 16 counties, 28 other US states and 1 other country.

  • What were the majority of anglers fishing for?
    Striped bass was the primary or secondary target species for
         58% of shore anglers,
         75% of private boat anglers and
         80% of charter boat anglers.

     For those of you interested in looking at information on other species or similar information for other states, log on to www.countmyfish.noaa.gov.  This site is informative and really easy to use!

     If during the course of the 2013 fishing season you encounter my staff or me in the field, please allow us a few minutes of your time to answer some questions about your fishing trip.  It really is a painless process.