Information on the total costs associated with commercial fishing is essential to quantitative estimation of fisheries performance measures that indicate the fleet’s economic health over time as biological, management and cost conditions change. NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) collects fixed and labor costs on a periodic basis through voluntary participation in its cost survey. In the Northeastern US, there are no federal fisheries with mandatory fixed and labor cost reporting; data collection efforts must weigh the need to collect these costs routinely with the cost of the data collection and vessel owner survey fatigue. The NEFSC has implemented several rounds of cost data collection (most recently for 2011, 2012 and 2015) to estimate the total costs of commercial fishing and profitability for various segments of the Northeast fleet. The NEFSC modified its data collection methodology in its most recent survey (for 2015). Modifications include changes in the survey instrument and sampling design to address well-established cost collection and estimation challenges (e.g., cost allocation across trips, missing values for aggregate variables, and multiple vessel owners). The 2015 cost survey sampled commercial fishing businesses (rather than fishing vessels, as in prior rounds). Additional outreach and data collection efforts were undertaken in several Northeast ports to supplement the survey modes previously used (mail and Internet). While the objective of these changes was to address known cost data collection and estimation issues, we recognize and will discuss how these changes may create new challenges or twists on well-established ones.