2022 End-Of-Year Reporting Highlights:
NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement Announcements:
- Federally permitted vessel owners are required to properly display their vessel identification. This aids in recognizing legitimate federally permitted vessels. The official number should be:
- Displayed on the port and starboard side of the vessel
- Sized proportionally to the vessel
- vessels over 65 feet-at least 18 inches in height, on appropriate weather deck
- vessels over 25 feet-at least 10 inches in height, on appropriate weather deck
- vessels 25 feet or less-at least 3 inches in height
- Visible for enforcement vessel or aircraft
- Remember to always have onboard:
- Proper sea turtle release gear
- Descender device requirements
- Current charts that denote closed and limited access fishing areas
- Contact your chart plotter vendor and/or upload charts, fishing areas at:
Key Program Reminders:
- Accurate reporting is vital for providing reliable data. By submitting accurate reports, you are helping to improve management and monitoring of Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic species, and supporting the health and future of recreational fishing. If you have questions about any data field, please contact the program or see our Frequently Asked Questions page on our SEFHIER program website. You may be contacted if our automated, error-checking program picks up any unusual data in your report(s).
- We have received some feedback that there is confusion on how to fill out the angler field in the logbooks. The number of anglers should be reported as the number of people who had gear in the water (and this can include crew, if they are fishing).
- You must be in compliance with the SEFHIER program to renew your federal for-hire permit. View your SEFHIER program compliance by month by visiting the vessel reporting system website and entering your official vessel identification number.
- VMS Power Down Exemption (PDE) reminders for federally permitted Gulf of Mexico for-hire vessels:
- PDE request form can be found here.
- PDEs apply to the vessel and all permits that require VMS.
- The VMS unit must remain powered on 24/7, unless you are under a PDE, even if the vessel is powered down.
- Under a PDE, a vessel may not move on water for at least 72 consecutive hours.
- PDEs automatically end when, (1) the VMS unit is turned back on or (2) you are transferring your permit(s).
Regulation reminders for federally permitted Gulf of Mexico for-hire vessels:
- Currently, trip declarations are required every time a vessel moves on the water (i.e., bait/ice trips, transportation to/from marinas and private docks, sunset cruises).
- For vessels with federal for-hire and commercial reef fish permits, declarations must be submitted to both programs. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is actively working with NOAA Fisheries to revise this regulation to reduce the burden on fishermen.
- The Modification of For-Hire Vessel Trip Declaration Requirements Amendment is in public hearing stage and can be viewed on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s page.
- Vessels must land at an approved landing location, see the list here. Submit a landing location request form to get a new location approved.
- Currently, a permanently affixed VMS, operating 24 hours a day, is required for Gulf of Mexico federally permitted for-hire vessels. The Modification to Location Reporting Requirements for For-Hire Vessels Amendment is in the rule making stage. This amendment considers the option to request an exemption to the VMS operating 24/7 in the event of an equipment failure and can be viewed here.
- Logbooks must be completed prior to offload, using either a VMS with SEFHIER forms, or one of the approved software applications. See the SEFHIER program website for more information.
- Reporting requirements are based on your federal for-hire permit, not the area you fished. Logbooks must contain all catch, including discarded fish.
Regulation reminders for federally permitted South Atlantic for-hire vessels:
- A logbook is required for every fishing trip and must be completed by the Tuesday following a fishing week (Monday-Sunday).
- No fishing reports are due for weeks when no for-hire fishing trip(s) took place. No fishing reports must be completed by the Tuesday following the fishing week (Monday – Sunday).
- Reporting requirements are based on your permit, not the area you fished. Logbooks must contain all catch, including discarded fish.
Helpful Program Information and Useful Links: