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Southeast Region Exempted Fishing Permits (EFP)

June 25, 2018

Information about applying for exempted fishing permits (EFPs) in the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean.

Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) Applications

  1. Information on applying for an EFP can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations at 50 C.F.R. § 600.745(b).  To apply for an EFP, please send a cover letter and a complete EFP application (see Part C) to the Regional Office (contact information listed below).  Electronic copies may also be sent to facilitate the review process. 
  2. Applicants must submit an application at least 60 days before the desired effective date of the EFP.
  3. An application for an EFP must contain all of the following information.
    1. The date the application is submitted and extent of time (research end date) needed to accomplish work.
    2. The applicant’s and/or project coordinator’s name, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail, and fax number, if available.
    3. A point of contact who can respond to any questions regarding the project that NMFS staff may have during consideration of your application.
    4. A statement of the purposes and goals of the activity for which an EFP is needed, including justification for issuance of the EFP.
    5. A list of the specific regulations from which an exemption is being requested and why each exemption is required for the experiment to succeed.
    6. The following catch information:
      1. The species (target and incidental species must be clearly differentiated) expected to be harvested and/or discarded under the EFP.
      2. The number or weight, by species, of such harvest and/or discard anticipated to occur during the exempted fishing, regardless of whether or not it is retained for sale.
      3. The expected disposition of all regulated species harvested under the EFP (e.g., what will be done with the fish once it is caught).
      4. Any anticipated impacts on fisheries, marine mammals, endangered species, or Essential Fish Habitat.
    7. The following anticipated effort information for each vessel:
      1. For fixed gear:
        1. Type and size of gear to be used.
        2. Amount of gear to be used (e.g., number of pots, number of gillnets, etc.).
        3. Number of gear hauls.
        4. Average soak time.
        5. Sampling months/time of year.
        6. Sampling locations (including depth).
      2. For mobile gear:
        1. Type and size of gear to be used.
        2. Number of tows to be made per day.
        3. Duration and speed of each tow.
        4. Number of days during which the experiment will be conducted.
        5. Sampling locations (including depth).
    8. Information for vessels to be used for the EFP as soon as the information is available and before operations begin under the EFP:
      1. Vessel name.
      2. USCG documentation number, state license or registration of each vessel.
      3. Vessel home port.
      4. Vessel owner information – name, mailing address, phone number, email.
      5. Vessel captain information and primary project participants – names.
    9. Signature of applicant.


Applications for an EFP trigger review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  This review may require the preparation of additional documentation beyond the EFP application, including analyses of the potential environmental impacts associated with the project.  If the project is expected to result in any interactions with endangered or otherwise protected species (e.g., sea turtles, dolphins, whales, sea birds, etc.), the application for an EFP may trigger additional review under either the the Endangered Species Act (ESA) or the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).  This review may require the preparation of additional documentation beyond the EFP application.  Staff at the Regional Office may be contacted for additional information regarding NEPA, ESA, and MMPA. 

For more information on NEPA, please visit: 


For more information on ESA and MMPA, please visit: 




EFP application packages should be addressed to:


Andrew J. Strelcheck, Regional Administrator
NOAA Fisheries Service
Southeast Regional Office
Sustainable Fisheries Division
263 13th Ave. South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701


South Atlantic applications can be mailed or emailed:

            Attn:  Rick DeVictor, South Atlantic Branch Chief



Gulf of Mexico applications can be mailed or emailed:

            Attn:  Frank Helies, Gulf of Mexico Branch Chief



Caribbean applications can be mailed or emailed:

            Attn:  Dr. John McGovern, Assistant Regional Administrator



An EFP can take considerable time to process once NMFS has determined that the application package, including any required NEPA, ESA, and/or MMPA documentation, is complete.  It is recommended that you submit the application at least 90 days in advance of the start of research due to scheduling of required steps to allow the application to proceed.

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on 04/17/2024