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Clarification of Paper Logbook Requirements for Southeast Commercial Fishing Permit Holders

March 07, 2024

FB24-014: Southeast Fishery Bulletin; For more information, contact: Southeast Fisheries Science Center Commercial Fisheries Monitoring Branch, (305) 361-4581

Key Message:

NOAA Fisheries is clarifying requirements for commercial fishing permit holders in the Southeast. This applies to those holding Coastal Commercial Fishing Permits, Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Commercial Fishing Permits, NOAA Greater Atlantic Regional Office (GARFO) Permits or any combination thereof. Vessels fishing with permits from multiple regions are required to comply with reporting requirements for all of those regions. 

To speak to a NOAA representative about logbook reporting requirements for Southeast commercial fishing permits, please contact the Southeast Fisheries Science Center Logbook Program at: (305) 361-4581. Please leave a voicemail and a staff member will return your call during business hours.


Who does this apply to?

These instructions pertain to commercial fishing vessel owners who have permits issued from the NOAA Greater Atlantic Regional Office (GARFO) AND the NOAA Southeast Regional Office (SERO), deemed “dual-permitted” vessels. 


What are the reporting requirements for commercial fishing permits?

Dual-permitted vessels must comply with the logbook requirements for all permit categories.  

  • GARFO requires submission of an electronic Vessel Trip Report (eVTR) for every fishing trip, regardless of species, location, or gear.  For more information regarding GARFO vessel reporting requirements see: Vessel Trip Reporting in the Greater Atlantic Region.
  • SERO requires a paper logbook for commercial trips targeting or landing species requiring Southeast federal permits, including trips targeting HMS. The two logbook types are: 
    • “Southeast Coastal Fisheries Trip Report. A vessel trip report for Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish, South Atlantic Snapper Grouper, King and Spanish Mackerel, Shark, Atlantic Dolphin/Wahoo," also referred to as the Coastal Logbook.
    • “Fishing Vessel Logbook Record for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fisheries,” also referred to as the HMS Logbook, which includes the Trip Summary forms, Set forms, and weigh out forms.


Does my eVTR count as my Southeast commercial logbook?

No, permit owners are still required to mail the paper logbooks to the Southeast Fisheries Science Center if they used the vessel to commercially fish for species requiring Southeast federal permits, including trips targeting HMS. 

For trips targeting or landing a species managed by GARFO, an eVTR submission to GARFO will be required; however, a Southeast commercial a paper logbook is not required. At the time of this notification/publication, GARFO and SERO logbooks each require a separate reporting process. NOAA Fisheries is working to streamline this process in the future. 


Which VTR number do I provide to the dealer if I am required to submit multiple logbooks?

Vessels should supply the dealer with the VTR number or eVTR trip ID from the logbook associated with the appropriate permit for their targeted fishing activity.

  • If a vessel was fishing in a GARFO-managed fishery: provide the GARFO eVTR number
  • If a vessel was commercially fishing in a SERO-managed fishery: provide the Southeast coastal fisheries logbook VTR number
  • If a vessel was commercially fishing in a HMS-managed fishery: provide the HMS logbook VTR number/Schedule Number.


Can I use my GARFO eVTR for any requirement of my SEFSC logbooks needed for my upcoming permit renewal?

Dual-permitted vessels may qualify to use eVTRs submitted through eTrips in lieu of submitting a No Fish Report Form. To qualify for this method, a NOAA SEFSC representative must determine that a vessel owner exclusively used their GARFO permit(s), and did not use their HMS or SERO commercial permit(s) during a given month.  Please contact the SEFSC Logbook Program at: (305) 361-4581 to leave a voicemail which will be returned by a staff member during business hours.



Southeast Fisheries Science Center Commercial Fisheries Monitoring Branch, (305) 361-4581

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


Quick Glance Contact List for the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office

Permits Mailbox: The Permits Office in St. Petersburg, Florida, now has a Permits mailbox in the front lobby (263 13th Ave. South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701).  You can now drop off original permits for permit transfers.  Envelopes with information labels will be provided so that your documents can be attached to the correct application.  The mailbox will be checked daily.  For more information, contact the Permits Office at 877-376-4877.


Media Contact: Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750 


Recreational Fishing Coordinator: Sean Meehan, 727-385-5202

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on March 07, 2024