Get Email Updates

Industry-Funded Scallop Observer Program Call-In Guide

All vessels must call (508) 495-2100 to notify the observer program of their intent to fish.

Limited Access (LA) Vessels MUST provide 72 hours’ notice before the intended sail date. Notice should be no more than 10 days prior to sail date. Date requests within the 72 hours’ notice window will not be granted.

LA General Category Vessels (LAGC)  MUST notify weekly by Thursday for the upcoming calendar week (Sunday through Saturday.) Calls will not be back-dated if received after the calendar week has begun.

STEP I – CALL (508) 495-2100

1.  Press 1 to report a trip and follow the telephone message prompts.

2.  Gear type:  

1 Scallop Dredge 2 Scallop Trawl


3.  Permit type:

1 Limited Access 2 General Category


4.  Fishing Area:

1 Nantucket Lightship (LAGC Only)
4 Mid-Atlantic Open Area
5 Georges Bank Open Area
9 Mid-Atlantic Access Area

5.  Phone Number: enter your 10 digit phone number (DO NOT use ‘1’ before the area code)

6.  Permit number: enter your 6 digit permit number

7.  Name: please speak clearly, first and last name, then press # key

8.  Port sailing from: please speak clearly the port name, including city and state, then press # key

9.  Date of sailing: please speak clearly the month, day, and year, then press # key.
(General Category Vessels should indicate the Sunday date the upcoming calendar week begins, as one call per calendar week is sufficient for LAGC vessels.)

You will receive a trip confirmation number for each call which must be retained. An email transmission from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will be sent to your VMS email address(es) within 24 hours which will either issue a ‘waiver’ or an observer selection notification. If you are issued a waiver, you may begin your trip(s). 
If you receive an observer notice, please follow the instructions in Step II. 
If you do not receive VMS notification within 24 hours, contact the Vessel Call-in Coordinator at (508) 495–2188


If selected for observer coverage you MUST provide at least 48 hours’ notice to observer providers. 
Please note you are required to call ALL three of the observer providers in an attempt to obtain coverage, but you may choose to hire any provider that is available.

Current Industry Funded Scallop Observer providers are:
A.I.S. Inc. (774) 200-1688
East West Technical Services Inc. (860) 910-4957
Fathom Research LLC. (508) 990 - 0997

Please call the NMFS Vessel Call-in Coordinator at (508) 495-2188 or (508) 560-3550 (after-hours cell) if:
1.  There are no observers available from any of the providers and you would like to request a waiver. (Limited Access vessels MUST obtain a formal waiver; General Category vessels DO NOT need a formal waiver.
2.  You are cancelling your trip or your trip has been delayed more than 48 hours beyond the intended sail date.
3.  Any other extenuating circumstances.

This summary is not a substitute for the actual regulations. The full text of the regulations is available at or call the Northeast Regional Office at (978) 281-9315.

OMB Control No: 0648-0593, Expires:  October 31, 2018.  Notwithstanding any provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number

Northeast Fisheries Observer Program, January 15, 2016