NOAA Fisheries is moving away from paper vessel trip reporting requirements in the Greater Atlantic Region.
From 10 November 2021, most fishermen permitted to fish federal marine waters from Cape Hatteras in North Carolina to the Canadian border will be required to submit their vessel trip reports electronically.
Captain Mark Palombo of the F/V Terri Ann out of Sandwich, Massachusetts has been using the new electronic reporting system since 2020. “Any one of us technologically challenged people can figure it out,” said Mark who also finds electronic reporting makes it easier to sell to multiple dealers, track what he did and didn’t sell, and find required reporting information such as stat areas.
Reports must be submitted to NOAA Fisheries within 48 hours of the conclusion of a fishing trip and the new requirement applies to all federally permitted vessels except those holding only a permit for American lobster.
Upon request of the New England Council, NOAA is extending the requirement to vessels issued for-hire permits for New England Council-managed fisheries, ie Northeast multispecies. Vessels issued a Mid-Atlantic Council for-hire permit have been required to submit vessel trip reports electronically since March 2018.
Vessel operators need a Fish Online account to use NOAA Fisheries electronic VTR applications and to view their previously submitted eVTRs.