Gulf of Mexico Modifications to Charter Vessel and Headboat Reporting Requirements
UPDATE: On February 23, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit set aside the final rule implementing the Southeast For-Hire Integrated Electronic Reporting Program in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf). This means the Gulf program is currently not in effect. The ruling does not affect the South Atlantic SEFHIER program.
The For-Hire Electronic Reporting Amendment would modify data reporting requirements for federally permitted for-hire vessels (charter vessels and headboats) in the Gulf of Mexico to declare (hail-out) the type of trip (for-hire or other) prior to departing for any trip, and electronically submit trip-level reports prior to off-loading fish at the end of each fishing trip.
Prior to departing for any trip, the owner or operator of a vessel issued a charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish or Gulf CMP is required to declare (hail out) the type of trip (e.g., for-hire or other trip). When departing on a for-hire trip they must include the expected return time and landing location. Reports would include information about catch and effort during the trip.
The amendment would also require that federally permitted for-hire vessels possess a global positioning system (GPS) attached to the vessel that is capable, at a minimum, of archiving GPS locations.