Atlantic Herring Permit VMS Requirement Delayed
Date: October 24, 2000
Dear Permit Holder:
In a letter dated September 18, 2000, you were informed that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is accepting applications for commercial Atlantic herring permits, including the Atlantic herring vessel permit. That letter informed you that, if your vessel caught more than 500 mt of Atlantic herring during the 1999 calendar year, or if your vessel intends to catch more than 500 mt of Atlantic herring during the 2000 calendar year, you should include a statement so stating, select the "Category 1" Atlantic herring permit, and attach a copy of the vendor installation receipt from a NMFS-approved vessel monitoring system (VMS) vendor, as described in 50 C.F.R. 648.9 of the regulations for the Fisheries of the Northeastern United States. That letter also stated that "if you do not provide a copy of the vendor installation receipt, your application will be deemed incomplete and returned to you."
However, NMFS has agreed to delay the requirement to provide a copy of the vendor installation receipt when submitting your application. Rather, vessel owners will have 90 days from the date of publication of the final rule implementing the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (FMP) in the Federal Register to submit a copy of the vendor installation receipt from a NMFS- approved VMS vendor. Until that date, NMFS will accept applications for "Category 1" commercial vessel permits and will issue such permits upon receipt of the application, provided that all other permit requirements are satisfied. However, you must provide a copy of the vendor installation receipt to this office within 90 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register of the final rule to implement the Atlantic Herring FMP or your Category 1 Atlantic herring permit will be considered null and void. No other requirement is waived by this time extension.
Vessel Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements
Vessel Logbook Reporting (FVTR)
The owner or operator of any vessel issued a Federal Atlantic herring permit must maintain on board the vessel, and submit, an accurate fishing log report for all fishing trips. The report must include all species fished for or taken, regardless if they were harvested in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) or state waters, on forms supplied by or approved by the Administrator, Northeast Regional, NMFS (Regional Administrator). If no trips were made during a calendar month, a "Did Not Fish" report stating such must be submitted. These reports must be received or postmarked by the 15th of the month following the trip ending date. Owners of vessels that are newly permitted with vessel reporting requirements will be provided with logbook reports and instructions by the NMFS Fisheries Statistics Office (FSO). To obtain further information on vessel logbook reporting contact the FSO at 978-281-9246.
Vessel Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Reporting
Any owner or operator of a vessel issued a permit for Atlantic herring that is required to have a VMS unit on board (Category 1) must submit an Atlantic herring catch report (including retained and discarded catch) via the NMFS IVR system each week, unless exempted from this requirement by the Regional Administrator. Reports must also be made for weeks when no herring is caught.
Any vessel issued a permit for Atlantic herring that is not required to have a VMS unit on board, but catches more than 2,000 pounds (907.2 kg) of herring (Category 2) in a given trip will be required to submit a weekly report of its herring catches through the NMFS IVR system. Reports are required even if herring caught during the week have not yet been landed. A weekly report will not be required of these vessels if no herring are caught in a single week or less than 2,000 pounds of herring are caught for each trip during the reporting period.
Atlantic herring IVR reports are not required from Atlantic herring carrier vessels.
The IVR requirements are in addition to the logbook requirement described above. Detailed reporting instructions for the NMFS IVR system will be provided to each vessel owner issued a Federal Atlantic herring permit. These requirements are similar to those already put in place by the State of Maine. To obtain complete requirements and further information regarding vessel reporting on the NMFS IVR, contact the FSO at 978-281-9296.