NMFS News Release

Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930

Vessel Tracking System Experiment

Date: October 29, 1996

Dear Scallop/Multispecies Permit Holder:

This is to inform you that the National Marine Fisheries Service will conduct an experiment to test Vessel Tracking Systems (VTS) between January 2, 1997 and March 31, 1997 to gain valuable insight from participants for use in future VTS programs. Limited access multispecies permit holders in the Individual DAS and Combination permit categories, as well as scallop limited access permit holders in the full-time and part-time categories, are invited to participate in this voluntary experiment. Vessels that participate in the program will report DAS through the VTS unit and would be exempted from the call-in requirement.

If you are interested in participating in the program, you will need to provide documentation that your vessel has an operational VTS unit on board from one of the VTS vendors listed below. You may use the attached form to document your VTS vendor. To be eligible to enroll in the experimental VTS notification program, forms must be received by NMFS no later than December 15, 1996.

The following VTS vendors are the only vendors that may be used for this experiment. Please note: at the present time, no vendors have been certified by NMFS for the purposes of monitoring DAS under the multispecies or scallop regulations other than for this temporary experiment. The vendors that may be used for the experiment are not assured of approval in the future.


January 2, 1997 - March 31, 1997

1. SeaConnect (Comsat/Inmarsat C system):

Contact: Navtek Corporation

4940 Hampden Lane, Suite 200

Bethesda, Maryland 20814

Phone: (301) 215-9101

Sales Contact: Peter Kalogiannides

2. Boatracs:

Contact: Boatracs

6440 Lusk Blvd, Suite D201

San Diego, CA 92121-2758

Phone: (619) 587-1073 or 1-800-336-8722

Sales Contact: Mitch Borden

Please remember the enrollment period ends on December 15, 1996, and that you must have an operational VTS unit on board that is capable of remaining on, 24-hours a day, for the duration of the experiment. When operating under the experimental program, you will be subject to all the VTS requirements found at 50 CFR 648.9 and 648.10. Any failure to abide by these requirements will subject you to potential civil penalties and/or permit sanctions. If your vessel becomes enrolled in the experimental program, you will receive an Experimental Fishing Permit that authorizes you to report through the VTS unit and exempts you from the call-in system.

For further information on the experimental VTS notification program, please call 508-281-9273.


I certify that the fishing vessel ______________________________,

NMFS fisheries permit number ___________________________________,

Coast Guard documentation number _______________________________,

has an operational VTS unit installed by (check one box):

_______ Boatracs

_______ SeaConnect

Please print below (by name and location) the marine electronics dealer that installed the VTS equipment on the above named vessel:

Installing VTS Dealer Name: ____________________________________

Installing VTS Dealer Address: _________________________________


Installing VTS Dealer Telephone:________________________________

Approximate Date of Installation:_______________________________

I understand that the VTS unit must remain connected to the VTS vendor listed above at all times between January 2, 1997 and March 31, 1997. I also understand that during this time I am subject to the provisions and requirements of 50 CFR 648.9 and 648.10 regarding use of the VTS. If the VTS unit is unintentionally disconnected during the VTS notification experiment, I understand that my vessel will again be required to report through the call-in system. I have received instructions from the VTS vendor listed above and understand how to operate the VTS unit.


Permit Holder's Name (printed)


Permit Holder's Signature

Return this form by December 15, 1996 to: National Marine Fisheries Service, Attention VTS Documentation, 1 Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930

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