Reminder Regarding the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Programs in the Gulf of Mexico

December 18, 2018

FB18-088 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Bulletin; For More Information, Contact: Catch Share Customer Support, (866) 425-7627 (option 2, 8am – 4:30pm EST), nmfs.ser.catchshare@noaa.gov

KEY MESSAGE:

  • NOAA Fisheries is sending an end-of-year reminder to ensure IFQ participants are informed about end of year restrictions as well as subsequent start of year information.  We are also providing additional information on the IFQ system functions and requirements to ensure participants clearly understand how to participate in the program.
  • For further information, IFQ participants can contact Catch Share Support at (866) 425-7627 (option 2) between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST), excluding federal holidays.

 

END OF YEAR LANDING TRANSACTIONS:

  • NOAA Fisheries will shut down the IFQ online system for maintenance beginning 6 p.m., EST, December 31, 2018.  Dealers and IFQ fishermen are reminded that all electronic transactions for the 2018 fishing year must be completed before this time.  Online IFQ functions will resume at 2 p.m. EST on January 1, 2019.  You may still submit an advanced notice of landing during the 20-hour maintenance window by using your vessel monitoring system or by calling Catch Share Customer Service at (866) 425-7627 (Option 1).  However, only landing transactions completed prior to 6 p.m. EST, December 31, 2018, will count toward your 2018 allocation.  Any remaining allocation in the account at 6 p.m., EST, December 31, 2018, expires and is removed from your account by the system.

 

ACCEPT SHARE TRANSFERS:

  • Please remember that a share transfer is a two-step process requiring the transferor to initiate the transaction and the transferee to complete the transaction.  The transferee completes the transaction by accepting the share transfer under the Receive Transferred Shares view.  A share transfer transaction that has not been accepted by the transferee (e.g., pending status) after 30 days from the date the transfer was initiated will be cancelled.  If the share transfer is still desired, the transferor will have to restart the share transfer process. 
  • Please ensure any share transfers are completed before the online system maintenance outage.  Any transfers initiated by the transferor but not accepted by the transferee will be canceled and the shares will remain in the transferor’s account.

 

2019 QUOTAS (IN POUNDS, GUTTED WEIGHT):

IFQ Share Category

Quota

Deep Water Grouper

1,024,000

Gag

939,000

Other Shallow Water Grouper

525,000

Red Grouper

3,000,000

Red Snapper

6,312,613

Tilefish

582,000

 

 

 

 

 

  • Potential Changes to Red Grouper
    • At their October 2018 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) meeting, the Council requested commercial and recreational annual catch limits and annual catch targets be reduced to a level equal to the 2017 commercial and recreational landings because of information indicating the red grouper population may be in trouble
    • The Council requested a commercial quota reduction to 3 million pounds gutted weight, a 59.4 percent reduction.
    • Red grouper allocation of 4.78 million pounds gutted weight will be withheld January 1, 2019, in anticipation of the proposed quota reduction.
    • If the proposed quota reduction does not occur prior to June 1, 2019, then NOAA Fisheries will distribute the withheld quota back to IFQ shareholders in accordance with the regulations.
  • Potential Changes to Red Snapper
    • A Gulf red snapper assessment was completed in 2018 and indicated that the population was not overfished (population abundance is too low) or experiencing overfishing (rate of removal is too high), but still rebuilding.
    • Based on the assessment results and catch level recommendations from the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee, annual catch limits can be increased. 
    • NOAA Fisheries published a proposed rule on December 4, 2018 to solicit comments on an increase in annual catch limits.  The comment period ends January 3, 2019.

 

MULTI-USE ALLOCATION:

  • The gag and red grouper multi-use allocation percentages may change each year based on the annual catch limits and quotas for red grouper and gag.  The percentages are calculated based on a formulaic process involving the annual catch limits and annual catch targets of both species.  Using the proposed reduced red grouper annual catch limits, for 2019, red grouper multi-use allocation will be 9.2% of your total red grouper allocation, while gag multi-use allocation will be 17% of your total gag allocation. 

 

TRANSFER 2019 ALLOCATION TO YOUR VESSEL ACCOUNT AFTER JANUARY 1:

  • On January 1, your 2019 allocation will be issued to your shareholder account.  To use this allocation to harvest IFQ species, you must transfer sufficient allocation to your vessel account prior to completing a landing transaction.  To transfer allocation to your vessel account, log in to your shareholder account.  On the menu bar, select Allocation, then select Transfer Allocation and follow the instructions.

 

TRANSFERRING ALLOCATION TO ANOTHER SHAREHOLDER’S VESSEL ACCOUNT:

  • When transferring allocation to another shareholder’s vessel account, use the vessel’s Coast Guard documentation or state registration number in the search box.  Many vessels have similar names and this will ensure the correct vessel receives the allocation.

 

DEALER LANDING TRANSACTIONS:

  • When dealers complete a landing transaction, step 4 specifies to select a notification confirmation to link the vessel’s pre-landing notification with the landing transaction.  However, for a variety of reasons, sometimes there are no notifications to select.  In this case, the dealer must select “No Notification Meets Criteria” to complete the landing transaction.
  • Supplying trip ticket number (step 5) is optional and helps NOAA Fisheries connect the different datasets (i.e., Coastal Logbooks, Trip Tickets, and IFQ).  Please remember to include this number during the landing transaction or afterwards using the Update Trip Ticket option under the Landings menu.

 

COST RECOVERY FEES:

  • IFQ fishermen are charged a fee to recover a portion of the costs required to administer, manage, and enforce the IFQ programs.  The current cost recovery fee is 3% of the ex-vessel value of the landed fish before any deductions are made for transferred (leased) allocation and goods and services (e.g., bait, ice, fuel, repairs, machinery replacement, etc.).  The dealer collects this fee from the fisherman at the time of landing.  After the end of each calendar quarter, each dealer must submit the cost recovery fees to NOAA Fisheries via the online system.  The dealer has 30 days from the end of the quarter to submit the cost recovery fee.  If the fee is not paid by the end of the 30 days, the dealer account will be suspended until the fee is paid.  The payment schedule is listed below so that dealers may mark their calendars as a reminder.

Quarter

Cost Recovery Fee available

Cost Recovery Fee due on or before

1st

April 1

May 1

2nd

July 1

July 31

3rd

October 1

October 31

4th

January 1

January 31

 

FORGOT PIN OPTION:

  • The online system provides a “Forgot PIN” option to help users retrieve their PINs to log into the IFQ system at any time.  To utilize this function, users must have secret questions and an email address set up in their online account.  This can be set up for each Shareholder, Vessel, and Dealer account under the My Account menu.  For additional information about how to set up secret questions and an email address, please review the Troubleshooting Guide on the IFQ Homepage.

 

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on March 21, 2019