NMFS News Release





Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930




Scallop Tracking System Requirements

Date: March 10, 1998

IMPORTANT NOTICE!

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY TO DOCUMENT VTS INSTALLATION

Dear Sea Scallop Permit Holder:

This is to inform you that the National Marine Fisheries Service has certified a Vessel Tracking System (VTS) vendor for use in the Atlantic sea scallop fishery and is now implementing VTS requirements and prohibitions specified at 50 CFR 648.9, 648.10, and 648.14. Therefore, all limited access permit holders in the full-time and part-time categories are required to have an operational VTS unit on board to report days-at-sea (DAS) effective May 15, 1998. Vessel owners holding limited access occasional permits may also elect to report DAS under the VTS notification program or continue to report under the current call-in system.

Effective May 15, 1998, vessels in the full-time and part-time categories are prohibited from fishing in the scallop DAS program until documentation is provided that your vessel has an operational VTS unit on board from the vendor listed below. You may use the attached form for your convenience. Vessels that participated in the VTS experimental program with units from the following VTS vendor are not required to provide further documentation.

BOATRACS, Inc.

6440 Lusk Blvd., Suite D201

San Diego, CA 92121-2758

Phone: (619) 587-1981 or 1-800-336-8722

Sales Contact: Mitch Borden

When operating under the VTS notification program, you will be subject to all the VTS provisions and requirements found at 50 CFR 648.9 and 648.10 regarding use of the VTS and the VTS prohibitions found at 50 CFR 648.14.

For any vessel that begins a fishing trip under the call-in system before May 15, 1998, and ends the trip after May 15, 1998, that entire trip will be monitored via the call-in system. The vessel's next trip that begins after May 15, 1998, will be subject to the VTS requirements.

Vessel owners subject to the VTS requirements should be aware that, currently, the geographic range of the Boatracs system is limited and is not likely to extend beyond the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone. Owners of vessels that anticipate fishing in a high seas fishery, or who wish to delay purchasing a system for any reason may want to consider leasing the Boatracs system or working out some other type of procurement arrangement. For further information on the VTS notification program, please call Linda Galvin (978-281-9230) or Paul H. Jones (978-281-9273).


NORTHEAST VESSEL MONITORING PROGRAM

F/V NAME: _________________________________________________________________

NMFS FISHERIES PERMIT NUMBER: ___________________________________________

COAST GUARD DOCUMENTATION NUMBER: _____________________________________

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BOATRACS INSTALLING DEALER:

NAME: ______________________________________________________________________________

ADDRESS: __________________________________________________________________________

TELEPHONE NUMBER: ________________________________________________________________

DATE OF INSTALLATION: _______________________________________________________________

SERIAL NUMBER OF MCT: _____________________________________________________________

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NAME (printed): _________________________________________________________________________

SIGNATURE: ____________________________________________________________________________

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SEND INFORMATION TO:

NOAA FISHERIES

OFFICE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT

ATTEN: VMS MANAGER

1 BLACKBURN DRIVE, ROOM 206

GLOUCESTER, MA 01930



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