Frequent Questions: Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Dealer Reporting
Learn more about the best practices, guidelines, and requirements associated with Atlantic HMS dealer reporting.
What are my dealer reporting requirements?
Since January 1, 2013, all federally-permitted Atlantic HMS dealers have been required to report receipt of Atlantic sharks, swordfish, and bigeye, albacore, yellowfin, and skipjack (BAYS) tunas on a weekly basis through an approved electronic system.
The reports are required on a weekly basis (Sunday to Saturday) and must be submitted no later than midnight, local time, of the first Tuesday following the end of the reporting week. Reports are required whether you bought HMS during that weekly reporting period (i.e., a “positive” report) or did not buy HMS during that weekly reporting period (i.e., a “negative” report).
As of July 28, 2016, Atlantic bluefin tuna dealers must electronically report bluefin tuna through the SAFIS reporting program, regardless of where they reside or where the bluefin tuna have been caught. Dealers must report bluefin tuna within 24 hours of receiving them, and they are also required to submit bi-weekly forms. Negative reports are not required for bluefin tuna-only dealers.
- Bi-weekly forms (PDF, 2 pages)
Why is NOAA Fisheries requiring Atlantic HMS dealers report electronically?
Electronic reporting is necessary to ensure timely and accurate reporting, which is critical for quota monitoring and management of Atlantic HMS species, particularly sharks which have relatively small quotas.
Am I required to have an Atlantic HMS dealer permit?
If you are the first person that purchases Atlantic sharks, swordfish, and tunas from a fishing vessel for commercial purposes, other than solely for transport, you are required to obtain an HMS dealer permit and report receipt of all HMS product electronically to NOAA Fisheries.
How do I obtain an HMS dealer permit?
Dealer permits for Atlantic swordfish and Atlantic sharks may be obtained by contacting the Southeast Regional Office, Permits Department at (727) 824-5326. A printable version of the annual dealer application can be downloaded from the Southeast Regional Office website. Dealer permits for Atlantic BAYS and bluefin tuna may be obtained at by contacting the Greater Atlantic Regional Office at (978) 281-9370. A printable version of the annual dealer permit application can be downloaded from the Greater Atlantic Regional Office website. A complete application with required supporting documents must be submitted at least 30 days before the date on which the permit is to be made effective.
What species do I have to report?
You must electronically report receipt of Atlantic bluefin, sharks, swordfish, and BAYS tunas. All federal bluefin tuna dealer reports must be submitted through the SAFIS program. We are working to modify other electronic reporting programs so that additional programs can be used for bluefin tuna reporting, but currently only the SAFIS program is approved for reporting bluefin tuna. Bluefin tuna dealer must also enter bi-weekly data fields into SAFIS and continue to submit a hard copy bi-weekly report to NOAA Fisheries by fax at (978) 281-9340 or by mail at the following address:
HMS Management Division
55 Great Republic Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930
Hard copy bi-weekly reporting form for Atlantic bluefin tuna (PDF, 2 pages)
When do I have to submit my HMS dealer reports?
The electronic reports are required on a weekly basis (Sunday to Saturday) and must be submitted no later than midnight, local time, of the first Tuesday following the end of the reporting week. Reports are required whether you bought HMS during that weekly reporting period (i.e., a “positive” report) or did not buy HMS during that weekly reporting period (i.e., a “negative” report). Bluefin tuna reports must be submitted electronically through SAFIS within 24 hours of receiving them, and dealers must also submit bi-weekly forms. Negative reports are not required for bluefin tuna-only dealers.
How do I report electronically?
There are several approved electronic system you can use. These include:
I use one of the approved electronic reporting programs (i.e., Trip Ticket, SAFIS. Can I use the same username and password to report HMS?
Yes. If you are already reporting through SAFIS, you will keep the same username and password to report Atlantic sharks, swordfish, BAYS, and bluefin tunas in this program to meet your federal Atlantic HMS dealer reporting requirements. If you are not already set up as a federal dealer, and you are using a state Trip Ticket reporting program, you will need to include your federal permit number in the program so that you can submit federal reports. Again, all federal bluefin tuna dealer reports must be submitted through the SAFIS reporting program.
I have never reported electronically. What program should I use?
If you are a dealer who is new to electronic reporting, please contact us at (301) 427-8590. We can assist dealers during our normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Can I send an HMS dealer report before the reporting deadline?
Yes. Your electronic reporting program allows you to submit a report at anytime within the reporting period for a given reporting week. Your electronic reporting program allows you to indicate time periods when you will not be purchasing product for up to 90 days.
Who do I contact if I have problems using any of the approved electronic reporting programs (SAFIS, eDealer, Trip Tickets)?
For detailed instructions on how to use SAFIS or HMS eDealer program or any questions regarding the required HMS data elements please review the frequent questions below. You can also contact us at (301) 427-8590 or by email during our normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Local port agents can also be of assistance for reporting through SAFIS. The SAFIS help desk number is (978) 281-9212.
For detailed instructions regarding the use of the Trip Ticket System contact Claude Peterson, Bluefin Data, LLC at (225) 744-0807 or visit the Bluefin Data site.
Who do I contact if I have problems with accessing or sending HMS dealer reports?
You may contact us via phone at (301) 427-8590 or email for assistance completing reports during our normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Why do I have to report HMS catch areas?
Reporting HMS catch areas will allow us to obtain information on where the HMS product was actually caught. Knowing where an HMS was caught will allow us to apply those landings to the appropriate regional HMS quotas.
What does "sale price" mean and why are you collecting this information?
The “sale price” is the total price (not price per pound) a dealer received for an HMS product sold to a third party (e.g., restaurant, another HMS dealer, grocery store, wholesaler).
This information is necessary so managers can accurately assess the socio-economic impacts of different management measures. Without this information, managers may unknowingly choose an option with similar ecological impacts to other options being considered, but with larger negative socio-economic impacts.
Do I have to report a "sale price"?
No. You will be required to provide either a “sales price” (see above) or a price per pound. If you provide a price per pound on the report, you can click on the “no sale” price check box (if applicable) when submitting a report and a “sales price” is not required.
Can I provide an estimated total sale price?
Yes. You may provide an estimated total “sale price” of HMS product purchased from a fishing vessel and sold to a third-party.
What is the Atlantic shark research fishery?
The Atlantic shark research fishery allows for the collection of fishery-independent data for future stock assessments on particular shark species. Only commercial vessels participating in the research fishery are allowed to land sandbar sharks. The research fishery operates with 100 percent observer coverage. There are typically approximately 10 fishing vessels participating in the Atlantic shark research fishery each year.
If you are purchasing from someone participating in this fishery, you need to check the “Atlantic Shark Research Fishery” check box and enter in the Southeast Observer logbook ID in order for us to be able to apply those landings to the appropriate sandbar and non-sandbar large coastal shark research quotas. These are separate quotas outside the commercial shark quotas.
If you are interested in participating or would like more information about the Atlantic shark research fishery please contact us at (301) 427-8503.
How do I know which shark fin quality code to use for fins purchased from a fishing vessel? What if I do not usually determines the quality of shark fins?
If you are the one determining the quality of shark fins purchased from a fishing vessel, please refer to the eDealer Compliance Guide for general guidelines. You are not required to follow these guidelines, but they are provided only for your reference.
If you are not the one that usually determines the quality of shark fins purchased from a fishing vessel, you can report fins as unclassified (UN). You must specify if the fins are dried or wet (i.e., fresh).
- eDealer Compliance Guide (PDF, 7 pages)
Where can I find the required Southeast logbook number (or VTR) to enter in the new electronic dealer reporting system (i.e., Trip Ticket, eDealer)?
The Southeast logbook number is equivalent to the VTR number displayed in the Southeast Coastal Fisheries Trip Report Form. If reporting under the Atlantic HMS Logbook, the Southeast logbook number represents the Schedule Number on the Trip Summary Form. The VTR number is equivalent to the VTR serial number found on the copy of the VTR supplied to dealers.
What VTR number should I enter in SAFIS if the Southeast vessel from which I am purchasing HMS has a Southeast logbook ID and not a VTR number?
You will enter the Schedule Number on the Trip Summary Form of the Atlantic HMS logbook as the VTR number.
Trip Summary Form (PDF, 2 pages)
Can I send a dealer report without purchase price information?
It will depend on the electronic system you are using to report. If you are using either SAFIS or Trip ticket programs, you are required to submit purchase price information. A dealer may enter in a purchase price of zero dollars at the time of submission and update the price data once the dealers has the information. The amount of time you have to update the price information depends on the program you are using. If you are using the eDealer program, you may be able to update the purchase price information for up to 30 days from the day the report was submitted.
How far ahead can I report no purchase of HMS (negative report)?
The different electronic reporting programs allow you to indicate time periods when you will not be purchasing product for up to 90 days in advance.
Can I report any purchases during a time period that I have already submitted a negative report?
Yes. You are required to submit a report for any purchases by midnight of the following Tuesday of a reporting week, even if you have already submitted a negative report for that time period.