Federal For-Hire Electronic Reporting Outreach in the South Atlantic

Project Contact: Cameron Rhodes, Contact Information: cameron.rhodes@safmc.net; Office: 843-725-7577;

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 amendment has been approved and the final rule is expected to be published soon.   While we are waiting on the final rule, the Council is gearing up to help charter operators understand the amendment and the potential application of electronic reporting.

The next step in our continued outreach process will be to conduct webinars and in person trainings informing the public of about the amendment, setting up ACCSP user accounts for charter operators, and training users on how to access, and use, some possible electronic reporting tools.

You may also receive a mailing about additional informational meetings offered and sponsored by the National Marine Fisheries Service.  These informational meetings will focus on the requirements and implementation, but will not offer any hands-on trainings using available electronic reporting tools.  If you cannot attend a SAFMC sponsored training, the Council encourages you to attend the NMFS sponsored informationals. For more information about the NMFS trainings Click Here!


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.


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.howington@safmc.net) 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.

Informational Webinars

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.  

Webinar information will be available after the final rule for the amendment is released. Stay tuned!

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 Florida. We will continue to revisit each of the states once the final rule for the amendment has been released.

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.


Click here to see what other amendments are currently under development and to provide comment!