NOAA Fisheries is proposing an exempted fishing permit (EFP) to evaluate how to best administer an electronic monitoring (EM) and portside sampling program in the Atlantic herring fishery. This EFP would allow vessels issued a Category A or B Atlantic herring permit to use a combination of EM and portside sampling instead of at-sea monitoring to satisfy their industry-funded monitoring (IFM) requirements during IFM year 2022 (April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023). Participating vessels would be required to operate EM systems on all declared herring trips and obtain portside sampling services from an approved provider for trips selected for IFM coverage. Consistent with the 50-percent IFM coverage target for herring vessels, 50 percent of EFP trips would be selected for portside sampling. For more information about the proposed EFP, please read the Federal Register notice describing the project.
If you own a vessel issued a Category A or B herring permit and would like to be issued an EFP, please contact Patrick Williamson, the Principal Investigator (PI) for the project, no later than March 21, 2022, at Patrick.Williamson@noaa.gov or (732) 691-7957. Contacting the PI by March 21, 2022, will help us ensure that you have all the information you need to participate in the project. It will also give the EM service provider time to install and/or upgrade your vessel’s EM system and finalize your vessel monitoring plan, and will alert IFM service providers that you will need portside sampling coverage during IFM year 2022.
This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.