Federally-permitted for-hire fishing vessels in the Mid Atlantic are required to submit Vessel Trip Reports (VTRs) documenting all fishing activity and catches (.50 CFR 648.7). Electronic vessel trip reports (eVTRs), which allow direct entry of data by the vessel operator using a computer-based system, have been available as an option since 2011. In early 2016, the first mobile-based app (for Android and iOS) for submitting eVTRs was approved by NOAA Fisheries (the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program’s SAFIS eTrips/mobile).
The purpose of this action is to require for-hire vessels with Federal permits for species managed by the Council to submit currently-required VTRs to NOAA through electronic means. This action is not a change in reporting requirements but an administrative modification in the method for submitting VTRs.
This action is expected to:
- increase the timeliness (availability) of data submitted through VTRs;
- reduce the reporting burden on data providers (for-hire operators and/or captains) by eliminating the need of paper-based reporting, and;
- increase the accuracy and quality of data by reducing recall bias associated with delayed completion and submission of paper forms.
Contact: Jason Didden, (302) 526-5254, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Council has taken final action and Council staff is preparing the NEPA documents for submission to NMFS. Rule-making is expected during 2017.