The SEFHIER program will reach its two-year anniversary on January 4, 2023! The success of this program depends on you and we are grateful for your participation and dedication to providing timely, quality data through electronic reporting.
Program compliance is better than ever and we will continue to evaluate program compliance and data quality in 2023. We thank everyone who has already reached out to our SEFHIER team (using the SEFHIER call center 1-833-707-1632 or email: email@example.com) to become compliant with the SEFHIER program!
2022 End-Of-Year Reporting Highlights:
NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement Announcements:
- Federally permitted vessel owners are required to properly display their vessel identification. This aids in recognizing legitimate federally permitted vessels. The official number should be:
- Displayed on the port and starboard side of the vessel
- Sized proportionally to the vessel
- vessels over 65 feet-at least 18 inches in height, on appropriate weather deck
- vessels over 25 feet-at least 10 inches in height, on appropriate weather deck
- vessels 25 feet or less-at least 3 inches in height
- Visible for enforcement vessel or aircraft
- Remember to always have onboard:
- Proper sea turtle release gear
- Descender device requirements
- Current charts that denote closed and limited access fishing areas
- Contact your chart plotter vendor and/or upload charts, fishing areas at:
Key Program Reminders:
- Accurate reporting is vital for providing reliable data. By submitting accurate reports, you are helping to improve management and monitoring of Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic species, and supporting the health and future of recreational fishing. If you have questions about any data field, please contact the program or see our Frequently Asked Questions page on our SEFHIER program website. You may be contacted if our automated, error-checking program picks up any unusual data in your report(s).
- We have received some feedback that there is confusion on how to fill out the angler field in the logbooks. The number of anglers should be reported as the number of people who had gear in the water (and this can include crew, if they are fishing).
- You must be in compliance with the SEFHIER program to renew your federal for-hire permit. View your SEFHIER program compliance by month by visiting the vessel reporting system website and entering your official vessel identification number.
- VMS Power Down Exemption (PDE) reminders for federally permitted Gulf of Mexico for-hire vessels:
- PDE request form can be found here.
- PDEs apply to the vessel and all permits that require VMS.
- The VMS unit must remain powered on 24/7, unless you are under a PDE, even if the vessel is powered down.
- Under a PDE, a vessel may not move on water for at least 72 consecutive hours.
- PDEs automatically end when, (1) the VMS unit is turned back on or (2) you are transferring your permit(s).
Regulation reminders for federally permitted Gulf of Mexico for-hire vessels:
- Currently, trip declarations are required every time a vessel moves on the water (i.e., bait/ice trips, transportation to/from marinas and private docks, sunset cruises).
- For vessels with federal for-hire and commercial reef fish permits, declarations must be submitted to both programs. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is actively working with NOAA Fisheries to revise this regulation to reduce the burden on fishermen.
- The Modification of For-Hire Vessel Trip Declaration Requirements Amendment is in public hearing stage and can be viewed on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s page.
- Vessels must land at an approved landing location, see the list here. Submit a landing location request form to get a new location approved.
- Currently, a permanently affixed VMS, operating 24 hours a day, is required for Gulf of Mexico federally permitted for-hire vessels. The Modification to Location Reporting Requirements for For-Hire Vessels Amendment is in the rule making stage. This amendment considers the option to request an exemption to the VMS operating 24/7 in the event of an equipment failure and can be viewed here.
- Logbooks must be completed prior to offload, using either a VMS with SEFHIER forms, or one of the approved software applications. See the SEFHIER program website for more information.
- Reporting requirements are based on your federal for-hire permit, not the area you fished. Logbooks must contain all catch, including discarded fish.
Regulation reminders for federally permitted South Atlantic for-hire vessels:
- A logbook is required for every fishing trip and must be completed by the Tuesday following a fishing week (Monday-Sunday).
- No fishing reports are due for weeks when no for-hire fishing trip(s) took place. No fishing reports must be completed by the Tuesday following the fishing week (Monday – Sunday).
- Reporting requirements are based on your permit, not the area you fished. Logbooks must contain all catch, including discarded fish.
Helpful Program Information and Useful Links:
- The SEFHIER website is your one-stop shop for staying up to date with important news, announcements, regulations, and compliance, such as the:
- SEFHIER customer service phone number: 1-833-707-1632 (M-F, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., ET) and email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- SEFHIER FAQs page
- A compact, travel friendly, SEFHIER Compliance Guide
- Software application vendors contact information
- VMS vendors contact information
- Visit the Southeast Fisheries Permits application website and application status website for permit application information, or call the Permits Office at 1-877-376-4877 and press option 8 to get to Permits staff.
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, Florida 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.
Other contacts: Media: Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750