Southeast For-Hire Electronic Reporting Program
The Gulf Council will be hosting two Q&A webinars about the new electronic reporting requirements for federally permitted for-hire captains on Tuesday, December 15, 2020. The webinars are free to attend. Register below.
As of January 5, 2021, all charter, headboat, and dually-permitted vessels with federal Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish or Coastal Migratory Pelagic permits must comply with Phase 1 requirements of the federal Southeast For-Hire Electronic Reporting Program (SEFHIER). Phase 2 requirements will be implemented at a later date (to be announced).
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries developed SEFHIER, a Gulf-specific reporting program, to increase the amount and type of information collected from the for-hire fishery to help improve fisheries management and understanding of the reef fish and coastal pelagic fisheries.
Phase 1: January 5, 2021
Trip Declaration (Hail-Out)
You must report every trip prior to leaving the dock. If you are not taking a for-hire trip, this is the only required step. You can report your trip via VMS, mobile phone app, or website.
Trip Information: captain ID, vessel ID, start/end time, start/end date, start/end location, type of trip
Dock and landing locations must be approved by NOAA Fisheries. Any location approved for the Gulf commercial reef fish fishery will be accepted.
Contact NOAA Fisheries’ Southeast Regional Office at 727.824.5301 to request approval for a new site.
Vessel captains must submit their trip logbooks prior to offloading or within 30 minutes of landing if no harvest was taken. Submit logbooks via VMS, mobile phone app, or website. Staff members will periodically meet captains upon their return to the dock to verify their physical catches with the logbook.
- Target Information: gear used, minimum/maximum depths fished, primary depth fished, targeted species
- Effort and Landing Information: number of crew, number of anglers, hours fished, ALL species caught, number kept of each species, number released of each species
- NOAA is creating a list of species for reporting. The list will be broken down by individual species of federal and state interest with other species grouped for easier reporting.
- Economic Information: trip fee, approximate fuel used and price per gallon, number of passengers and crew
- NOAA is collecting economic information to estimate revenue, value, and economic impacts of the for-hire fishery. This information can be used for future quota allocation decisions and damage assessments following disasters.
- This information will only be available to the public in aggregate form and to the IRS with a court order.
Phase 2: TBA
Vessel owners or operators must install NOAA Fisheries-approved hardware/software with location tracking capabilities that, at a minimum, archive vessel position data and transmit data to NOAA Fisheries.
The location tracking portion of the hardware must be installed by a certified installer, permanently affixed to the vessel, and turned on at all times, unless a power-down exemption is granted.
The device may be cellular-based store-and-forward or satellite-based real-time, such as a VMS.
Failure to Report
If a captain does not report a logbook, he/she will be prohibited from harvesting/possessing species covered under his/her reef fish or migratory pelagic permit until the report is submitted. If the problem persists, the captain will not be able to renew his/her permit until reports are submitted.
Even though permit holders will be participating in the new SEFHIER program, LDWF will still conduct LA Creel dockside and effort calls. Once LDWF has evaluated the SEFHIER program, LDWF may decide to rely on SEFHIER data from permit holders.
Notification and Training
NOAA Fisheries and Gulf Council staff will be hosting outreach and training webinars in the fall of 2020. Dates and times for the webinars will be posted on their website.
Additionally, NOAA Fisheries is creating a series of videos to explain the program requirements.
NOAA Fisheries and the Gulf Council will mail federal permit holders and vessel owners notification letters and information packets explaining the new program and its requirements.