For Immediate Release
June 24, 2022
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council took final action on a Framework Action to ensure that for-hire trips are not delayed or canceled in the event of vessel monitoring system equipment failures. As of March 1, 2022, vessels with charter vessel/headboat permits for reef fish and/or coastal migratory pelagics must be equipped with a satellite or cellular position reporting unit that operates 24-hours a day, collects location data at least once an hour, and automatically transmits data to NOAA Fisheries.
The Council chose to create an exemption to vessel monitoring system requirements that would allow federally permitted for-hire vessels to continue to operate while addressing position-reporting equipment failures. Each vessel would be allowed to request 2 exemptions per calendar year and each exemption would be valid for up to 10 calendar days.
This Framework Action will be transmitted to the Secretary of Commerce for approval and implementation as soon as practicable.