NMFS seeking input for VMS in the South Atlantic

Like a bad virus that just won't die, the South Atlantic Fisheries Council continues to head down the path to implement VMS (vessel monitoring systems, video, etc.). Although efforts to bring such devices (including smart fishing rods) to the recreational sector have been unsuccessful to date, it looks like they are still pushing for them.  Here's your chance to voice opposition during the public comment period.


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January 9, 2015        

Southeast Region Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Implementation Plan Available for Public Comment

There is a growing need for more timely and accurate data for fisheries management and science. Recognizing the growing demands for data collection, NOAA Fisheries drafted a regional electronic monitoring and electronic reporting (EM/ER) implementation plan for the Southeast Region.   

The goal of the plan is to provide an operational strategy for implementing and expanding the use of electronic monitoring (e.g., video cameras, vessel monitoring systems) and electronic reporting (e.g., electronic logbooks) for federally managed fisheries in the Southeast Region. The primary objectives of the plan are to: (1) Define regional objectives for the use of EM/ER; (2) establish a framework for EM/ER development and implementation; (3) identify challenges impeding the use of EM/ER in the region and potential solutions for overcoming those challenges; (4) develop a prioritized list of fisheries suitable for EM and/or ER; (5) identify and quantify (where possible) costs and infrastructure needed for expansion of EM/ER use; and, (6) develop a process for reviewing progress made toward plan implementation. 

NOAA Fisheries is interested in receiving input on the draft implementation plan. Initial input has already been received from the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils. 

Request for Comments

NOAA Fisheries is requesting comments on the EM/ER regional implementation plan through February 9, 2015. Comments submitted will be reviewed and considered during development of the final draft EM/ER implementation plan. You may obtain electronic copies of the EM/ER plan on the NOAA Fisheries Web site at: 


How to Submit Comments

You may submit comments on the EM/ER implementation plan by any of the following methods:

Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via e-mail to: nmfs.sero.EMERplan@noaa.gov. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

Mail: Submit written comments to Andrew Strelcheck, NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505.

Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NOAA Fisheries. All comments received are a part of the public record. 


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