This NOAA Fisheries Bulletin is provided as a courtesy:

Key Message:

  • NOAA Fisheries is sending this reminder to ensure Individual Fishing Quota program (IFQ) participants are informed about new and important requirements, such as IFQ system functions and how to participate in the program.
  • For further information, IFQ participants can contact Catch Share Support at (866) 425-7627 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday excluding federal holidays.

U.S. Postal Mail Delay:

  • Catch Share staff are working remotely.
  • As a result, processing any mail received through the U.S. Postal Service may be delayed.
  • Catch Share Support is available via telephone and email during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time).

New Catch Shares Online System:

  • In December 2020, NOAA Fisheries launched an updated Catch Shares Online System. The new system is hosted in a cloud application that should decrease unexpected down-times.
  • The new online system functions in a similar manner as the previous online system and there are some improvements, including:
    1. Mobile phone and tablet compatibility.
    2. Accepts multiple entries per species in landing transactions to allow for different prices per pound. Previously, separate transactions were required.
    3. Enhanced security through stronger PIN requirements and secret questions. See FB20-064 for further details.
  • The website address has changed to
    1. Remember to update all bookmarks.
    2. NOAA Fisheries will redirect from the old website for the foreseeable future.

Approved Landing Locations:

  • Vessels landing IFQ species must only land at approved IFQ landing locations. Gulf for-hire sites are not approved for commercial vessels.
  • Landing locations must be approved in advance to ensure the sites actually exist and law enforcement agents can access these sites.
  • Landing locations should have a street address. If there is no street address on record, global positioning system (GPS) coordinates for an identifiable geographic location must be provided.
  • IFQ Landing locations must be publicly accessible by land and water, and must satisfy the following criteria:
    1. Vehicles must have access to the site via public roads.
    2. Vessels must have access to the site via navigable waters.
    3. No other conditions may impede free and immediate access to the site by an authorized law enforcement officer. Examples of such conditions include, but are not limited to: a locked gate, fence, wall, or other barrier preventing 24-hour access to the site; a gated community entry point; a guard animal; a posted sign restricting access to the site; or any other physical deterrent.
  • Failure to adhere to the above specified requirements will result in landing locations being disapproved.

Federal Finance Program (FFP):

  • The IFQ program is now set up to track and monitor loans from the FFP relating to the purchase of permits and/or IFQ shares, or utilizing IFQ shares as collateral for other FFP loans.
  • The FFP provides long-term fixed rates for specific fisheries related loans. The maximum loan term for borrowing with no prepayment penalties is 25 years at a fixed rate interest of 2% above the Treasury Rate.
  • The FFP provides loans relating to:
    1. Refurbishing, modernization or purchasing of existing fishing vessels, fisheries facilities, or aquaculture facilities.
    2. Harvesting privileges in federally managed limited access systems (Catch Shares).
    3. Refinancing existing debt incurred for these purposes. The FFP will not finance a vessel refurbishing project that materially increases a vessel’s harvesting capacity.
  • For more information, contact the Southeast Financial Services Branch at 727-824-5377.

Pre-Landing Notifications:

  • When using the 24/7 call service to report your pre-landing notification, please provide your vessel’s Coast Guard documentation or state registration number. This will ensure the pre-landing notification is given for the correct vessel instead of another vessel with a similar name.
  • If you make a pre-landing notification and any details change, including estimated pounds onboard, you must make a new, revised pre-landing notification.
    1. If the landing location changes or an earlier time than previously submitted is needed, then the new notification will need to be submitted at least 3 hours prior to landing.
    2. If the change is to the dealer, the weights, or an arrival time that is later than previously submitted, the new notification does not require the vessel to wait an additional 3 hours.
      • For vessels that make a pre-landing notification before a day trip, you must update the estimated pounds onboard before you land.
    3. Only one “change” to a landing notification can be made before the vessel is required to wait an additional 3 hours.
  • For more information about IFQ pre-landing notifications, including example scenarios, refer to Frequently Asked Questions on the catch share online system.

Dealer Landing Transactions With No Landing Notifications:

  • When dealers complete a landing transaction, step 4 on the landing transaction page specifies to select a notification confirmation to link the vessel’s pre-landing notification with the landing transaction.
  • For a variety of reasons, sometimes there are no notifications to select. In this case, the dealer must select “No Notification Meets Criteria” to complete the landing transaction.

Transferring Allocation to Another Shareholder’s Vessel Account:

  • When transferring allocation to another shareholder’s vessel account, use the vessel’s Coast Guard documentation or state registration number in the search box.
  • Many vessels have similar names and this will ensure the correct vessel receives the allocation.

Accept Share Transfers:

  • Please remember that a share transfer is a two-step process requiring the transferor to initiate the transaction and the transferee to complete the transaction.
  • The transferee completes the transaction by accepting the share transfer under the Receive Transferred Shares view.
  • A share transfer transaction that has not been accepted by the transferee (e.g., pending status) after 30 days from the date the transfer was initiated will be cancelled. If the share transfer is still desired, the transferor will have to restart the share transfer process.
  • Transfer of shares and associated allocation are independent. If a package deal includes both shares and allocation, the transferor must make a separate allocation transfer for any allocation.  Allocation associated with the shares is only distributed by the system at the beginning of the fishing year or in the case of a mid-year quota increase.

Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) Time Zones For Pre-Landing Notifications:

  • In the VMS pre-landing notification form, the user must select the time zone for the date and time of landing.
  • For units that do not have a drop-down list, please enter for Eastern Standard Time “EST” and for Central Standard Time “CST,” regardless of whether we are in standard or daylight saving time.  Incorrect time zones may resulted in a rejected landing notification.

VMS Codes For Pre-Landing Notifications:

  • Changes to the VMS units now allow new approved landing locations and dealers to be available shortly after approval for use by IFQ participants.  The drop-down menus were replaced with numeric fields corresponding to the IFQ landing location and dealer VMS codes.
  • Previously, some VMS IFQ pre-landing notification forms used a drop-down menu with a list of approved landing locations and dealers.  These lists were manually updated via a software update.  This caused significant delays in new approved landing locations and dealers being available for use on the various types of VMS units.
  • Lists of VMS codes for landing locations and dealers can be found on the Catch Share Online System (
  • You can use this worksheet to keep a record of your most commonly used VMS codes.