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Industry Funded Scallop Observer Program Call-in Requirements

Reminder to all vessel owners and captains of the call-in requirements and regulations concerning the Industry-Funded Scallop Observer Program.

NOAA Fisheries requires permitted scallop vessels fishing in federal waters to call the Industry-Funded Scallop (IFS) Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system at (508) 495-2100 to declare their intent to fish before starting their trip(s). This requirement includes Limited Access (LA), Limited Access General Category (LAGC) Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ), and LAGC Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) permit holders.

The IVR will assign callers a confirmation number that they must retain. Vessels selected for IFS observer coverage must give this number to the observer service providers so the companies can log a contact record.

Within 24 hours following a call, the IVR will send the vessel an automated email on their Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) units indicating observer selection or waiver status. If desired, vessels can ask the Vessel Call-In Coordinator (VCIC) to include additional addresses to receive the notification email.

If you do not receive a confirmation message on your VMS within 24 hours, please call the VCIC at (508) 560-3550.

Information for Limited Access General Category Vessels

Federal regulations require LAGC vessels to call the IVR weekly to declare their intent to fish during the upcoming calendar week (Sunday to Saturday). Please note that a single call is required per week regardless of the number of trips planned that week.

All vessels notifying under a LAGC-IFQ or LAGC-NGOM permit must call the IVR at least 72 hours before the start of the calendar week, i.e. by Thursday of the preceding week. We will not “back-date” calls received after the calendar week has started. If there is a chance you will fish in the upcoming week, you should call the IVR to fulfill vessel notification requirements.

Owners, operators, and vessel managers selected for IFS observer coverage must contact the observer service providers at least 48 hours before sailing to arrange for observer deployment. You may call the provider companies in the order you prefer, but you must contact all IFS provider companies to attempt to secure an observer if selected for coverage.

Failure to notify using the IVR or failure to contact all IFS providers when selected is considered noncompliance and will be reported to NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement.

Information for Limited Access Vessels

Federal regulations require LA vessels to notify at least 72 hours, but no more than 10 days, before their intended sail date. Vessel notifications for sail dates with less than 72 hours notice will NOT be entered.

If you need to change the fishing area for an existing confirmation number, or if you need to delay a trip more than 48 hours past the sail date due to weather, mechanical issues, etc., do not call in a new trip through the IVR. Instead, please call the VCIC at (508) 560-3550.

Owners, operators, and vessel managers selected for IFS observer coverage must contact the observer service providers at least 48 hours before sailing to arrange for observer deployment. You may call the provider companies in the order you prefer, but you must contact all IFS provider companies to attempt to secure an observer if selected for coverage.

If no observers are available through any of the providers, LA vessels must contact the VCIC to request a formal waiver prior to departing. The VCIC will verify that the vessel contacted all three providers before issuing a waiver.

Failure to notify using the IVR or failure to contact all IFS providers when selected is considered noncompliance and will be reported to NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement.

Current Industry Funded Scallop Observer Providers:

  1. A.I.S. Inc. (774) 200-1688
  2. East West Technical Services Inc. (860) 910-4957
  3. Fathom Research LLC. (508) 990-0997

Questions?

Jessica Blaylock, Industry-Funded Scallop Operations Specialist, (508) 524-3020

Connor Buckley, Scallop Vessel Call-In Coordinator, (508) 560-3550

Tori Pilger, Scallop Vessel Call-In Coordinator, (508) 560-3550

Last updated by Northeast Fisheries Science Center on March 30, 2022

Observer Program