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NOAA plans to revise survey of Atlantic fishermen

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) plans to revise its Large Pelagics Fishing Survey.

NOAA is announcing in the Federal Register of Monday, Feb. 24 that it is taking public comments on extension of and revision to the survey. For details, see http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-02-24/html/2014-03751.htm.

NOAA plans to survey recreational anglers and businesses who serve them by telephone and in person at docks to ask about large pelagics intercepts, validation and biology of fish. NOAA will survey people who fish in the Atlantic Ocean about catch of tuna, shark, marlin and billfish.

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service uses the survey to judge catch of these fish. NOAA explains that the “information collected is essential for the United States to meet its reporting obligations to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna.”

NOAA has proposed the following changes in the survey:

  • Dropping the Large Pelagics Headboat Survey
  • Increasing the annual Large Pelagics Telephone Survey target sample size from 10,780 to 15,900 interviews for Northeast and Southeast combined
  • Adding up to five questions to the survey
  • Following up to non-responders in the Southeast. NOAA already follows up in the Northeast. Participation is supposed to be mandatory.

Send your comments by March 26.