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Sept 5 -- The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) invites comments by November 6, 2023 regarding the extension of the For-Hire Survey (FHS) to estimate fishing effort on for-hire vessels (i.e., charter boats and head boats) in coastal states from Maine to Mississippi.

The FHS collects fishing effort information from for-hire vessel representatives by telephone interview. For-hire vessels are randomly selected for the FHS from a comprehensive sample frame developed and maintained by NMFS. A sample of 10% of the vessels on the FHS frame are selected for reporting each week. Each interview collects information about the vessel, the number and type of trips the vessel made during the reporting week, the number of anglers on each trip, and other trip-level information.

For-hire fishing effort is estimated in numbers of angler-trips per sub-region, state, two-month wave, vessel type, and fishing area (inshore, nearshore, offshore). To get a total for-hire effort estimate, weekly FHS effort estimates are summed to produce wave estimates that are adjusted to account for frame coverage and reporting error. The FHS estimates are then combined with for-hire catch-rate estimates derived from complementary MRIP surveys, to estimate total, state-level fishing catch. These estimates are used in the development, implementation, and monitoring of fishery management programs by the NMFS, regional fishery management councils, interstate marine fisheries commissions, and state fishery agencies.
 
Estimated Number of Respondents: 22,000

FHS: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/recreational-fishing-data/hire-survey-glance
Current survey instrument and technical documentation: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202010-0648-009
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-19108

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