National Marine Fisheries Service

08/31/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/31/2021 11:54

NOAA Offers Online Webinars for Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish and Coastal Migratory Pelagic For-Hire Permit Holders

Topic: Southeast For-Hire Integrated Electronic Reporting Program Vessel Monitoring System Requirements

Key Message:

NOAA Fisheries' Southeast Regional Office is in the process of implementing Phase 2 of the Southeast For-Hire Integrated Electronic Reporting Program, requiring a position reporting device, or vessel monitoring system (VMS), to be permanently affixed to a vessel and transmitting at all times. A series of constituent webinars will be held in September 2021 in order to assist the public with preparing for the implementation of this requirement.



  • Tuesday, September 7th, 2021, 6:30-7:30 PM, ET
  • Thursday, September 16th, 2021, 2:00-3:00 PM, ET
  • Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021, 6:30-7:30 PM, ET
  • Tuesday, September 28th, 2021, 10:00-11:00 AM, ET

To register for the webinars and access additional meeting information go to:


These webinars will provide program participants information about the new VMS requirement for the federally permitted Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish and Coastal Migratory Pelagic for-hire participants. The webinars will include information such as timelines, approved VMS units, and reporting requirements. There will also be plenty of time for questions.

The position reporting requirement is essential for validating the information collected through the Southeast For-Hire Integrated Electronic Reporting Program. The data collected from the VMS units are expected to result in enhanced tracking of recreational catch limits in the Gulf of Mexico; thereby, improving fisheries management.

Additional Information:

This requirement applies to any captain, owner, or lessee of a vessel with a Gulf of Mexico reef fish, or Gulf of Mexico coastal migratory pelagic federal for-hire permit. While it is required that units remain on at all times, approval for turning off a unit can be given through a Power Down Exemption Form. Information about this form, approved vendors and devices, and the VMS Reimbursement Program, can be found on the program website under the Gulf of Mexico section.

To access additional information, go to:

NOAA Fisheries implemented the new Southeast For-Hire IntegratedElectronic Reporting Program in January 2021. This program provides more timely catch, effort, and discard information from federally-permitted for-hire vessels.NOAA Fisheries respects your time and business operations, so please continue to submit suggestions on ways we can improve your understanding of the Southeast For-Hire Electronic Reporting Program. We look forward to working with you.

Please call our customer service hotline with any questions (available from 8:00 AM-4:30 PM, ET) at 1-833-707-1632 or email us at [email protected].

Sign Up For Text Message Alerts - Find Out About Immediate Openings and Closures

NOAA's Text Message Alert Program allows you to receive important fishery related alerts via text message (SMS). Standard message & data rates may apply. You may opt-out at any time.

Text alerts you may receive include:

  • Immediate fishery openings and closures
  • Any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly

Sign up for one or more of the following groups:

  • Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
  • Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text SATLRECFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text SATLCOMMFISH to 888777
  • Caribbean Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text CARIBFISH to 888777

Join us every other Fridayon NOAA Fish Instagramfor Rec Fish Friday!

Other contacts:

Media: Kim Amendola, 727-551-5707

Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750