Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission Regional Vessel Register
The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) Regional Vessel Register is a record of vessels authorized to fish for tuna and tuna-like species in the eastern Pacific Ocean. U.S. vessels are subject to requirements to be placed on the IATTC Regional Vessel Register, described below.
The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) Regional Vessel Register (RVR) provides a record of vessels for Member countries and Cooperating Non-Members of the IATTC that are authorized to fish for tuna and tuna-like species in the eastern Pacific Ocean. This record includes associated purse seine fleet maximum allowable capacity (in cubic meters volume) for each country and establishes a basis to deter illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU) in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The cumulative U.S. RVR capacity limit for both small and large “active” and “inactive” purse seiners is 31,866 cubic meters.
Under an international agreement with the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (Resolution C-18-06), the United States is required to provide the Commission with a list of vessels for the Regional Vessel Register. NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region Highly Migratory Species Program provides the IATTC with a list of vessels with active permits to fish for tuna and tuna-like species in the eastern Pacific to include on the Regional Vessel Register.
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program (AIDCP), U.S. purse seine vessels are subject to an additional set of requirements to be placed on the Regional Vessel Register. For both small and large purse seine vessels:
- Vessels with unconfirmed well volumes will be charged an additional fee (i.e., the vessel carrying capacity in metric tons will be multiplied by a factor of 1.4 times the assessment rate).
- To avoid the additional fee, vessel owners should provide NOAA Fisheries with documentation confirming the vessel fish hold volume by August 1 of any given year, such that this information can be used to calculate the assessment fee for the following year.
- Any payments received after November 30 will be charged a ten percent late fee by the IATTC.
The NOAA Fisheries IATTC Vessel Register Compliance Guide provides detailed answers to frequently asked questions on the IATTC Vessel Register and associated NOAA Fisheries regulations for making annual requests to be included on the IATTC Active and Inactive Purse Seine Regional Registers.
Small Purse Seine Vessels
Owners of small purse seine vessels having a carrying capacity of 400 short tons (363 metric tons) or less are currently not required to pay a vessel assessment fee to the IATTC that is calculated based on the well volume of the vessel. However, these vessels must:
- have a High Seas Fishing Permit (if they plan to fish outside of 200 nm from shore); and
- have a Pacific Highly Migratory Species Fisheries Permit (if plan to fish inside of 200 nm from shore and/or land HMS species to a west coast U.S. port).
Large Purse Seine Vessels
Owners of large purse seine vessels having a carrying capacity of more than 400 short tons (363 metric tons) are required to:
- Pay an observer assessment fee to the IATTC that is calculated based upon the fish hold volume.
- Have a NMFS issued Eastern Tropical Pacific Vessel Permit.
- Use a vessel operator with a current NMFS issued Eastern Tropical Pacific Operator Permit.
- Have a High Seas Fishing Permit.
- Have a Pacific Highly Migratory Species Fisheries Permit (if applicable).
Other Vessel Types
NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region also provides the IATTC with a list of other types of vessels that fish for tuna or tuna-like species in the EPO to be included in the RVR, such as those with a Pacific HMS Vessel Permit or a Hawaii Longline Limited Entry Permit. When the permit expires or becomes invalid, the vessel will be removed from the RVR.
Dolphin-Safe Captain’s Training Workshop
To be eligible for an Eastern Tropical Pacific Operator Permit, an operator must attend a Captain's Training Workshop. Operator permits are issued annually. Additional training is not required unless regulations are modified substantially, the operator no longer demonstrates proficiency, or the operator does not obtain a previous calendar year permit. Workshops are conducted by NOAA Fisheries, West Coast Region Protected Resources Division. Workshops are held quarterly and dates are to be determined. Please give staff ample notice of your need to participate in the workshop to facilitate scheduling.
For more information on the Captain Training Workshop, contact Justin Greenman at Justin.Greenman@noaa.gov or (562) 980-3264.
For more information on IATTC Regional Vessel Register, please see NOAA Fisheries’ IATTC Vessel Register Compliance Guide.
To find out the correct amount for the observer assessment fee payable to the IATTC, contact:
- Chris Fanning at Chris.Fanning@noaa.gov or (562) 980-4198; or
- Will Stahnke at William.Stahnke@noaa.gov or (562) 980-4088.
To stay informed on issues relating to the IATTC, join our email distribution list. Information shared may include changes to regulations (e.g., notice of proposed rules implementing IATTC resolutions available for public comment), upcoming meetings (e.g., annual IATTC meetings), and updates to highly migratory species management measures adopted by the IATTC. To receive (or unsubscribe to) these emails, please send a request that includes your first name, last name, email address, and affiliation to: Taylor.Debevec@noaa.gov.
- Catch Reports
- Fisheries & Gear
- Fishery Status Reports
- High Sea Fishing
- Vessel Register U.S. Regulations