NOAA Fisheries thanks fishermen for their participation in the SEFHIER program, informs participants about program requirements, reminds participants of frequently asked questions (FAQs), and provides an update of the program progress.
For further information, SEFHIER participants can contact the program help desk at 1-833- 707-1632, and select option 3, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., ET, excluding federal holidays. Also, fishermen can visit the program website at https://go.usa.gov/xMBjmfor more information about the program.
As the first year of NOAA Fisheries’ SEFHIER program comes to a close, SEFHIER extends a sincere thank you to the constituents who are participating in the program and have offered suggestions for improving the program.
Over the past year, SEFHIER staff has made many enhancements to the program based on input from fishermen. Through Fishery Management Council meetings, webinars, mailings, region specific toolkits, conference calls, dock talks, and calls to our hotline, constituents have listened, provided feedback, complied with regulations, and helped make this program a success.
SEFHIER also thanks the staff of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils for helping to host webinars, create and distribute informational toolkits, and sharing SEFHIER messages to reach federally permitted for-hire fishermen.
Preliminary 2021 Highlights:
70,834 Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) and South Atlantic/Atlantic logbooks received,
41,033 Gulf declarations received,
~64% of Gulf for-hire federally permitted vessels and ~60% of South Atlantic/Atlantic federally permitted vessels have registered an account with an approved reporting vendor,
SEFHIER staff answered more than 1,000 incoming calls and assisted constituents with program-related outreach on nearly 6,000 outgoing customer service calls.
(Please refer to the SEFHIER FAQs page for more information.)
Federally permitted Gulf for-hire vessels
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 dually federally permitted for-hire and commercial reef fish vessels, you must complete both a commercial reef fish and for-hire trip declaration when going on a for-hire trip. NOAA Fisheries is actively investigating how to streamline the vessel monitoring system (VMS) declaration process for dually commercial reef fish and for-hire federally permitted vessels. Currently, these programs have different regulatory declaration requirements.
For-hire declarations can only be completed using a SEFHIER approved reporting platform (VMS or software). Gulf for-hire declarations are not approved for submission on the VMS IVR line.
All federally permitted for-hire vessels
All federally permitted for-hire vessels are required to submit logbooks with information on catch and effort. This information is required to be reported regardless of where the vessel is fishing. All logbooks must be submitted electronically through SEFHIER approved software.
Gulf federally permitted for-hire vessels: Logbooks must be submitted prior to removing fish from the vessel. If no fish were harvested, the logbook must be submitted within 30 minutes of landing.
South Atlantic/Atlantic federally permitted for-hire vessels: Logbooks must be submitted weekly, by 11:59 pm, local time, the Tuesday following a reporting week (Monday-Sunday). A no-fishing report must be submitted if a vessel does not go fishing in a reporting week (Monday through Sunday).
Reporting Highly Migratory Species (HMS)
If you are using eTrips/Mobile2, the application will prompt for the HMS required questions, and only one submission is required to comply with both SEFHIER and HMS programs. If you are using the VESL reporting application, you will still need to complete the HMS reports using the HMS Program (www.hmspermits.noaa.gov).
Questions from participants have often been related to trip type, trip activity, economic questions, and reporting errors.
For answers to these and additional SEFHIER questions, please refer to our SEFHIER FAQs page (broken out by topic) for detailed answers to some of our most frequently asked questions:
While eTrips/Mobile2 is approved, eTrips/Online is not approved for SEFHIER. See the program website, under Approved Software, for more information on what software is approved for the program.
For South Atlantic/Atlantic federally permitted for-hire vessels, no fishing reports are only accepted 30 days in advance per program requirements, regardless of what the application will allow. Any form submitted in excess of the 30 days will not count towards program compliance and will need to be resubmitted.
Landing location is a required field on the Gulf declaration. SEFHIER declarations combine traditional hail-out and hail-in information into one form. The hail-in information, estimated return time and landing location, are used by law enforcement and SEFHIER Validation Surveyors to know in advance when a vessel will be landing with catch.
To submit a logbook, click the send/submit button on the application. Without clicking send/submit, the logbook will remain pending in the application. A confirmation screen will confirm a successful submission. This report is then saved to your device; if needed, you can show a law enforcement officer your trip submission confirmation.
Software application vendors are required to have helpdesks. Please call them if/when you have trouble with your application. They are here to help you!