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VTR: Who's Answering the Phone?

If you are calling about a vessel trip report (VTR), you could be speaking with Bethany Brosnan. Bethany has been working at the NOAA Fisheries’ Greater Atlantic Regional Office since June, 2003. Currently, she works in the Analysis and Program Support Division (APSD) and is part of a team that is responsible for processing fishing vessel trip reports. She also frequently responds to the comments that fishermen send to our feedback email address nmfs.gar.feedback@noaa.gov.

The APSD office handles 500 to 1,000 trip reports per day, the majority of which are received by mail. When a trip report is received, it is reviewed for accuracy and then scanned into our system where the data entered is accepted as a final record for that fishing vessel. Sometimes these reports contain errors, which are either sent back to the owners for correction or are corrected by our staff.

Some of the more common errors that Bethany sees are listed below. These types of mistakes can impact quota monitoring and stock assessments, so it’s important to be accurate.

If VTR’s are not filled out correctly and submitted on time, it can impact important aspects of your fishing business. The renewal of your permit can be delayed if all of your required VTRs have not have not been received and accepted, and until we receive a missing VTR, we must estimate your catch for a trip. In addition, VTRs provide critical data about fishing areas, trip length, and gear used. These data are used to support stock assessments and analyses of vessel fishing activity over time, which can impact fishery allocations. Also, effort data from VTRs (gear, chart area, number of hauls, and soak time) is used to estimate bycatch of protected species, such as harbor porpoises and sea turtles. We need accurate effort data to accurately estimate bycatch. Lastly, dealer-reported landings, along with accurate and timely VTRs, are used to monitor quotas.

With your efforts and Bethany’s help when it is needed, these reports are accurate reflections of what happened on your fishing trip. If you would like to reach Bethany about your VTR, you can call 978-281-9246 or email her at Bethany.brosnan@noaa.gov.