Commercial Electronic Vessel Trip Report (eVTR) Framework

Overview

Commercial fishing vessels with federal permits for MAFMC-managed species are required to submit Vessel Trip Reports (VTRs) documenting all fishing activity and catches. Electronic Vessel Trip Reports (eVTRs), which allow direct entry of data by the vessel operator using an electronic device, have been available as an option for all Northeast Region federally permitted fisheries since 2013. The Council is considering requiring commercial vessels with federal permits for species managed by the Council to submit their VTRs electronically. This action is intended to change the submission method only and would not modify existing requirements regarding data types being collected. The goal of the action is to increase the timeliness and accuracy of fisheries data submitted to NMFS.

Currently, there are several approved applications that can be used to submit VTRs electronically, including free options. A list of all approved eVTR applications and contact information for each system can be found here: https://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/aps/evtr/electronic/index.html.

Contact

Karson Coutre, Fishery Management Specialist, kcoutre@mafmc.org , (302) 526-5259

Action Status

Framework Meeting 1 occurred at the April 2019 Council meeting. This action would affect all vessels with federal commercial permits for species managed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; however, the Monkfish and Spiny Dogfish plans would only be affected if joint action is taken with the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC). After considering Advisory Panel and Fishery Management Action Team recommendations, the Council approved a range of alternatives, including a no action alternative, an alternative to require electronic submission of VTRs, and four alternatives that could change the VTR reporting deadline to 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours, or 7 days. NMFS indicated that they would likely have an extended implementation deadline of up to a year after the final rule if the Council selects an alternative to require electronic reporting. The NEFMC received an update on this framework action including the MAFMC approved alternatives at their April Council meeting.

Documents

Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Framework Framework on Conservation Equivalency, Block Island Sound Transit, and Slot Limits

The Council and the ASMFC are developing a joint framework action and addendum to consider adding the following management options to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan:

Bluefish Allocation Amendment

The Mid-Atlantic Council and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) are developing an amendment to review and possibly revise the allocation of Atlantic bluefish between the commercial and recreational fisheries and the commercial allocations to the states. As part of this amendment the Council and ASMFC will also be reviewing the goals and objectives of the bluefish FMP and the quota transfer processes. Other issues may also be considered.

Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Excessive Shares Amendment

This amendment will consider options to ensure that no individual, corporation, or other entity acquires an excessive share of the Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) privileges.  In addition, the goals and objectives for the SCOQ FMP will be reviewed and potentially revised.