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New Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Software for Vessel Owners - McMurdo (formerly Boatracs)-equipped Vessels

Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281 –9315
April 18, 2018

Effective Date:  April 18, 2018

On April 18, 2018, your VMS vendor, McMurdo Fleet Management, will update the macros on your vessel’s VMS unit over the air to comply with recent regulatory changes. Please begin using the new macros for trips upon receipt. Owner/operators who intend to take a scallop trip into new or modified areas authorized by Framework Adjustment 29 to the Sea Scallop plan will find these areas at Macro 23.  

Please check that your VMS received the new macros by following these steps: (1) Go to Macro 14 and check that the top of the macro states “Vessel Activity Report V18.0”; and (2) Go to Macro 35 and check that the top of the macro shows “V15”. If you do not receive the macro update, please contact McMurdo at 1-800-262-8722. 

We recommend that you send a ‘Declare Out of Fishery – Transit’ declaration that alerts us that you have the updated macros. Please remember to send the appropriate activity declaration from your McMurdo VMS prior to your next trip. For any questions, please contact McMurdo at the above telephone number or via email at

Quick Reference to Macros

Here is a list of the required macros (there were no changes made to the macro numbering).

Declaration Macros


Reports Macros


Notes for Multispecies & Monkfish   


Multispecies Catch


Surfclam & Ocean Quahog


Multispecies Trip Start Hail




Multispecies Trip End Hail




Monkfish Trip Limit DAS Overage Adj.


Squid - Longfin & Illex


Scallop Daily Catch


Multispecies Sector


Scallop Prelanding Notification


Multispecies Common Pool


Herring Daily Catch




Herring Prelanding Notification


Scallop - LAGC & Limited Access


Mackerel & Squid Daily Catch


Declare Out of Fishery & Power Down


Mackerel Prelanding Notification



RSA & EFP Trip Start Hail



RSA & EFP Trip End Hail


Summary of Activity Declaration Macro Changes

  1. Scallop.
  1. LAGC (general category). For special access area trips, we added three (3) access areas to the declaration menu: Closed Area I, (new) Nantucket Lightship South and (new) Nantucket Lightship West. We removed the Nantucket Lightship and the Elephant Trunk Flex access areas.

        Note: Please remember to select and declare a gear type for all LAGC-declared trips.

  1. Limited Access. For special access area trips, we added five (5) access areas to the declaration menu: Closed Area I, (new) Nantucket Lightship South, (new) Nantucket Lightship West, Carry-Over Trip – Nantucket Lightship, and Carry-Over Trip - Closed Area 2. We removed the Nantucket Lightship and the Elephant Trunk Flex access areas. The Closed Area 2 and Nantucket Lightship carry-over selections are only for those vessels authorized by NMFS to take a carry-over trip between April 1 and May 30, 2018. These carry-over declarations are not to be used after May 30, 2018.

We also added a selection for Limited Access vessels to declare a Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) Research Set-Aside (RSA) trip. If you declare a NGOM RSA trip, please remember to also answer ‘yes’ to the question “will scallop RSA quota be harvested?”.   

Note: Please remember that the scallop declaration form has a top section when you are declaring a general category (LAGC) trip, and a bottom section when declaring a limited access trip. 

  1. Surfclam & Quahog. We added three (3) scallop access areas to the field that asks you to select a scallop access area only if you are fishing in that access area and retaining more than 40 lb of scallop IFQ quota. Those areas are Closed Area I, (new) Nantucket Lightship South and (new) Nantucket Lightship West. We removed the Nantucket Lightship and the Elephant Trunk Flex access areas.

        Note: If you do not declare into an access area, you may not land more than 40 lb of scallops, and you may not land any scallops from an area after it has closed to LAGC IFQ vessels. Please remember to send the scallop prelanding notification from sea for any trip in which you land scallops. 

  1. Squid. We added a ‘note’ to the first selection field that asks ‘what is your target species?’. The note states ‘select one or both’ meaning that you may now select a combined longfin and illex trip, in addition to a longfin-only or illex-only trip.

Summary of Reports Changes

  1. Scallop Daily Catch Report. We added text to the instruction at the top of the page to clarify the catch report requirement and eliminate redundant reporting. Vessels on a scallop-declared trip that is no more than a single day in length and required to send a scallop prelanding form are now exempt from sending a daily catch report.

        Note:  Please remember to send the daily catch report by 9 am the following day for all other scallop-declared trips. Also, please send the scallop pre-landing report on: (1) all LAGC-declared trips, (2) non-scallop-declared trips in which scallops are retained by vessels with LAGC IFQ and NGOM permits, (3) access area-declared trips by limited access vessels, and (4) when declaring out of the limited access days-at-sea fishery with scallops onboard to transit to a port south of 39 degrees North.

Reminder of VMS Requirements

  1. VMS Operator Instructions. You will find views and information about how and when to send your required declarations and reports. These instructions are available on the VMS web page at (under ‘Instructions and Forms’). If you prefer a paper copy, please contact the VMS Team.
  1. Contacting the VMS Team. If you have questions about this new VMS software or your VMS reporting requirements, please call us at (978) 281-9213, option 1. On our webpage, contact information is available at
3.  Declaring Your VMS Trip. Please remember to declare your activity prior to leaving port from your VMS unit on every trip as required by 50 CFR 648.10. The trip start email that your VMS unit receives from NMFS is not a confirmation of your trip declaration, but only provides the most-recent declaration received from your vessel. If you typically take the same type of trip, you may be able to use GARFO’s IVR feature that allows you to ‘Confirm the Use of a Previous VMS Code’ via a simple toll-free call. Please contact the VMS Team if you would like to learn more about this feature.
For small entity compliance guides, this bulletin complies with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996.  This notice is authorized by the Regional Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service, Greater Atlantic Region.