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NOAA Announces Survey Participation Requirement for Gulf of Mexico Federal For-Hire Permit Holders as Part of The Southeast For-Hire Integrated Electronic Reporting Program

October 28, 2021

FB21-076: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Bulletin; For more information, contact: Southeast For-Hire Electronic Reporting Program, 1-833-707-1632,

Key Message:

As part of the Southeast For-Hire Integrated Electronic Reporting (SEFHIER) program, NOAA Fisheries is implementing an independent, dockside intercept survey called the SEFHIER Validation Survey.  Vessels with federal for-hire permits for Gulf Reef Fish or Gulf Coastal Migratory Pelagic Fish are required to participate in the SEFHIER Validation Survey.



Effective immediately, Gulf of Mexico federal for-hire permit holders are required to complete the survey when intercepted by a surveyor at the dock.



The SEFHIER Validation Survey is one component of a statistical method used to generate final catch estimates.  The data collected from the independent SEFHIER Validation Survey is compared to electronic logbook reports to account for unreported trips or misreported catch. 


Additional Information:

The SEFHIER Validation Survey is a short survey capturing trip information such as an interviewee’s name, vessel identifiers, trip type, fishing area, trip effort and trip catch.  Depending on time and availability, surveyors may ask to sample landings for biological samples (e.g., weight, length, otolith collection).


Participation in the SEFHIER Validation Survey applies to any captain, operator, owner, or lessee of a vessel with a federal for-hire permit for Gulf reef fish or Gulf Coastal Migratory Pelagic.  However, if you are already participating in the Southeast Headboat Survey then you do not need to complete the SEFHIER Validation Survey. 


Critical Component:

The surveyor for the SEFHIER Validation Survey will ask for the vessel’s federal for-hire permit number(s) and vessel registration number (state or U.S. Coast Guard) as part of a series of questions.  These questions are necessary to match information from the SEFHIER Validation Survey to electronic logbook submitted for the trip. This is a critical component of the statistical methodology described above.  Please note that your federal permit(s) must be onboard your vessel (50 CFR § 622.4 (h)).


Please call our customer service hotline with any questions (we are available to help from 8:00 AM-4:30 PM, ET) at 1-833-707-1632, or email us at


A flyer, describing the SEFHIER Validation Survey is available at:  

FAQs specific to the SEFHIER Validation Survey are available at:

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 us every other Friday on NOAA Fish Instagram for Rec Fish Friday! 

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on March 15, 2022