In an interview with Geoffrey White, Director of the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP). The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) highlights the effects of COVID – 19 on the For-Hire Electronic Reporting and dockside data from fishermen.

ACCSP is responsible for the commercial and recreational data collection for all the states from Maine to Florida, involving federal, regional partners.

Geoff White expresses the importance of electronic data submission moving forward.

 “The challenge with paper reports is that they may be delayed in data entry and will have to be processed, slowing down the ability to use these data,” said White.

To collect recreational data ACCSP works with NOAA fisheries’ Marine Recreational Informational Program (MRIP) to support state conduct of dockside intercepts and surveys.

Geoff White explained the importance of the data collection. “Of the 160 people from Maine to Georgia that perform dockside interviews with MRIP funding, many are hourly employees. State staff on MRIP surveys are well-trained and we need to keep them available. Therefore, NOAA and ASMFC [Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission] provided guidance to the states to continue supporting trained staff and survey-related tasks to maintain readiness to resume sampling as soon as possible.”

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