Scroll down this page to read more about the project and upcoming training sessions!
In December 2016 the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved an amendment that, if implemented, would require weekly electronic reporting of all charter vessels operating under a South Atlantic federal for-hire permit. The public comment period ended for the proposed rule on May 4th, 2018, and for the Notice of availability on May 14th, 2018.
Currently, the public comments, and the amendment, are under review by the Secretary of Commerce and the Council expects that the amendment should be approved, partially approved, or rejected by the end of summer 2018. NOAA Fisheries is working to develop an implementation plan. If the amendment is approved, we expect implementation could be sometime in late 2018.
While the amendment and comments are being reviewed, and an implementation plan is being developed, the Council is gearing up to help charter operators understand the amendment and the potential application of electronic reporting.
The first step in our continued pilot/testing process will be to conduct webinars informing the public of about the amendment, setting up ACCSP user accounts for charter operators, and conducting trainings around the South Atlantic on how to access and use the pilot.
Click the links below for additional information:
Who might be affected by implementation?
If the amendment is implemented, South Atlantic federal for-hire permit holders in the following fisheries, may be required to report electronically on a weekly basis:
- Snapper Grouper
- Dolphin Wahoo
- Coastal Migratory Pelagic
However, if you are a dual permit holder and already report to a more comprehensive reporting system (i.e. GARFO) you will not be required to report to the South Atlantic. The South Atlantic Council’s intent, as reflected in the amendment, is to recognize those reports submitted to more stringent reporting systems as fulfilling the requirements of the amendment.
What types of information might be reported?
Below is a table of some of the reporting information from the amendment that for-hire captains may have to report on a weekly basis using some type of electronic reporting system.
|Vessel and Captain ID||Start/end date of trip||Start/end time of trip||Hours fished|
|Location fished||Number of anglers||Number of crew||Gear type used|
|Targeted species||Average depth fished||Types of species caught||Charter fee|
|Number of discarded per species||Number kept per species||Fuel price||Amount of fuel used|
What electronic reporting tool might be used to submit reports?
Other regions that already require electronic reporting in fisheries often use web-based and mobile application-based tools to support electronic reporting. The reporting tool that may be used in the South Atlantic region has not been decided yet and will be part of the implementation plan being developed by NOAA.
However, the Council has been conducting a pilot project for the past year to develop and test a tablet-based mobile application called eTrips, that would allow for-hire captains to submit fishing trips electronically. As part of the Council's upcoming training sessions, for-hire captains will have a chance to test out the pilot tablet application.
Kathleen Howington, Project Outreach Specialist
As mentioned above, in conjunction with the Atlantic Coast Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP) and the South Atlantic states, the Council worked on a pilot project that developed a tablet-based electronic reporting application to test as a possible tool for for-hire captains to report electronically. Captains attending training sessions will have the opportunity to test out this electronic reporting application.
In order to use the app and set up your account, each permit holder will be assigned a username and password, using the SERO mailing database, contact information. Username and temporary password information will be in a second letter that will be mailed to all permit holders closer to the training dates in your area.
If you have other captains that operate your federally permitted vessel, they can have their own individual accounts set up as well, in order to submit electronic reports under your permit.
To submit account information for other captains, you have two options:
1) Fill out the additional account form at this link: https://safmc.wufoo.com/forms/satl-forhire-electronic-reportingaccount-info/
2) Email Kathleen Howington (Kathleen.email@example.com) the following information – Full name (first, middle, last, suffix), birth date, the names of the vessels the user will be associated with, permits associated with the user, mailing address for the user, and user's email.
Council staff will host informational webinars monthly for federal for-hire permit holders to provide information about electronic reporting, the proposed amendment, and upcoming training sessions. Registration is required.
If no one registers for the webinar by 6:00 PM, the webinar will be cancelled. If a webinar has registered participants and none have logged in by 6:15 PM, the webinar will be cancelled.
To help permit holders become familiar with the tablet application and the pilot reporting system, training sessions are being scheduled throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and the East coast of Florida in 2017 and 2018 to educate permit holders on the amendment under review, the possible reporting requirements, and to learn how to use the pilot electronic reporting system that may be one of the tools used to fulfill the requirements once the amendment is implemented. We will be in touch with fishermen in each state several weeks in advance of the training in your area to provide further details.
A round of trainings has already occurred in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Northern Florida. We will continue to revisit each of the states.
DATE/TIME: 6/14/18, 6 PM - 9 PM
CITY: Fort Lauderdale, FL
LOCATION: Bahia Mar Doubletree, 801 Seabreeze Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
*Register Here! This is also available via webinar. See the webinar tab for details.
DATES: 9/10/18 - 9/14/18
LOCATION: Southern Florida (specific location details TBD)
DATES: 10/15/18 - 10/19/18
LOCATION: Central Florida (specific location details TBD)
The Amendment is currently under review by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Secretary of Commerce.
Note: All of the outreach efforts currently underway by the Council are part of a pre-implementation plan.