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Reminders Regarding the Individual Fishing Quota Programs in the Gulf of Mexico

December 07, 2017

FB17-075 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 these end-of-year reminders to ensure IFQ participants are knowledgeable 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 Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) online system for maintenance beginning 6 p.m., EST, December 31, 2017. Dealers and IFQ fishermen are reminded that all electronic transactions for the 2017 fishing year must be completed before this time.  Online IFQ functions will resume at 2 p.m. EST on January 1, 2018.  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, 2017, will count toward your 2017 allocation.  Any remaining allocation in the account at 6 p.m., EST, December 31, 2017, 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.

2018 Quotas (In Pounds, Gutted Weight): 

  • Deep Water Grouper - 1,024,000
  • Gag - 939,000
  • Other Shallow Water Grouper - 525,000
  • Red Grouper - 7,780,000
  • Red Snapper - 6,312,613
  • Tilefish - 582,000

Multi-use Allocation:

  • The gag and red grouper multi-use allocation percentages may change each year based on the annual catch limit and quotas for red grouper and gag. For 2018, red grouper multi-use allocation will be 3.5% of your total red grouper allocation, while gag multi-use allocation will be 43.6% of your total gag allocation. 

Transfer 2018 Allocation to Your Vessel Account After January 1:

  • On January 1, your 2018 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.

Transfering 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.

Pre-landing Notifications and 24/7 Call Service:

  • When using the 24/7 call service to report your pre-landing notification, please provide your vessel’s Coast Guard documentation or state registration number. This will ensure the pre-landing notification is given for the correct vessel instead of another vessel with a similar name.
  • Please remember that the 24/7 call service is only to report pre-landing notifications. They cannot complete dealer landing transactions or answer any IFQ related questions.  The only way to complete dealer landing transactions is through the online system by logging into the dealer account.  Questions about the IFQ system should be directed towards Catch Share Support (866-425-7627, option 2; M-F 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST).

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 the National Marine Fisheries Service connect the different datasets (i.e., Coastal Logbooks, Trip Tickets, and IFQ). Please remember to include this number during the landing transaction or afterward 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

IFQ Accounts and Gulf of Mexico Commercial Reef Fish Permits:

  • An IFQ account must be related to a Gulf of Mexico commercial reef fish permit to land IFQ species. The same name(s) must be on both the IFQ account and Gulf of Mexico reef fish permit.  Any changes to the name(s) on a permit (e.g., adding or removing a spouse or partner) will separate the permit from the IFQ account.  You must then establish a new IFQ account based on the names on the permit.  Please allow adequate time to establish an IFQ account, as it may take a few days for the new account UserID and PIN to be mailed to you.  For additional information about IFQ accounts and Gulf of Mexico commercial reef fish permits, please review the Frequently Asked Questions on the IFQ Homepage.

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.


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

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on March 19, 2019