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e-CFR data is current as of July 8, 2020

Title 50Chapter VIPart 648Subpart A → §648.10


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES
Subpart A—General Provisions


§648.10   VMS and DAS requirements for vessel owners/operators.

(a) VMS Demarcation Line. The VMS Demarcation Line is defined by straight lines connecting the following coordinates in the order stated (a copy of a map showing the line is available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

VMS Demarcation Line

DescriptionN. lat.W. long.
1. Northern terminus point (Canada landmass)45°0366°47
2. A point east of West Quoddy Head Light44°48.966°56.1
3. A point east of Little River Light44°39.067°10.5
4. Whistle Buoy “8BI” (SSE of Baker Island)44°13.668°10.8
5. Isle au Haut Light44°03.968°39.1
6. A point south of Monhegan Island43°43.369°18.6
7. Pemaquid Point Light43°50.269°30.4
8. A point west of Halfway Rock43°38.070°05.0
9. A point east of Cape Neddick Light43°09.970°34.5
10. Merrimack River Entrance “MR” Whistle Buoy42°48.670°47.1
11. Halibut Point Gong Buoy “1AHP”42°42.070°37.5
12. Connecting reference point42°4070°30
13. Whistle Buoy “2” off Eastern Point42°34.370°39.8
14. The Graves Light (Boston)42°21.970°52.2
15. Minots Ledge Light42°16.270°45.6
16. Farnham Rock Lighted Bell Buoy42°05.670°36.5
17. Cape Cod Canal Bell Buoy “CC”41°48.970°27.7
18. A point inside Cape Cod Bay41°48.970°05
19. Race Point Lighted Bell Buoy “RP”42°04.970°16.8
20. Peaked Hill Bar Whistle Buoy “2PH”42°07.070°06.2
21. Connecting point, off Nauset Light41°5069°53
22. A point south of Chatham “C” Whistle Buoy41°3869°55.2
22. A point in eastern Vineyard Sound41°3070°33
24. A point east of Martha's Vineyard41°22.270°24.6
25. A point east of Great Pt. Light, Nantucket41°23.469°57
26. A point SE of Sankaty Head, Nantucket41°1369°57
27. A point west of Nantucket41°15.670°25.2
28. Squibnocket Lighted Bell Buoy “1”41°15.770°46.3
29. Wilbur Point (on Sconticut Neck)41°35.270°51.2
30. Mishaum Point (on Smith Neck)41°31.070°57.2
31. Sakonnet Entrance Lighted Whistle Buoy “SR”41°25.771°13.4
32. Point Judith Lighted Whistle Buoy “2”41°19.371°28.6
33. A point off Block Island Southeast Light41°08.271°32.1
34. Shinnecock Inlet Lighted Whistle Buoy “SH”40°49.072°28.6
35. Scotland Horn Buoy “S”, off Sandy Hook (NJ)40°26.573°55.0
36. Barnegat Lighted Gong Buoy “2”39°45.573°59.5
37. A point east of Atlantic City Light39°21.974°22.7
38. A point east of Hereford Inlet Light39°00.474°46
39. A point east of Cape Henlopen Light38°4775°04
40. A point east of Fenwick Island Light38°27.175°02
41. A point NE of Assateague Island (VA)38°0075°13
42. Wachapreague Inlet Lighted Whistle Buoy “A”37°35.075°33.7
43. A point NE of Cape Henry36°55.675°58.5
44. A point east of Currituck Beach Light36°22.675°48
45. Oregon Inlet (NC) Whistle Buoy35°48.575°30
46. Wimble Shoals, east of Chicamacomico35°3675°26
47. A point SE of Cape Hatteras Light35°12.575°30
48. Hatteras Inlet Entrance Buoy “HI”35°1075°46
49. Ocracoke Inlet Whistle Buoy “OC”35°01.576°00.5
50. A point east of Cape Lookout Light34°36.576°30
51. Southern terminus point34°3576°41

(b) Vessels required to use VMS. The following vessels must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in, or as modified pursuant to §648.9(a):

(1) A scallop vessel issued a Full-time or Part-time limited access scallop permit, or an LAGC scallop permit;

(2) A scallop vessel issued an Occasional limited access permit when fishing under the Sea Scallop Area Access Program specified under §648.59;

(3) A vessel issued a limited access monkfish, Occasional scallop, or Combination permit, whose owner elects to provide the notifications required by this section using VMS, unless otherwise authorized or required by the Regional Administrator under paragraph (d) of this section;

(4) A vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit that fishes or intends to fish under a NE multispecies Category A or B DAS, or catches regulated species or ocean pout while on a sector trip; or a vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies small vessel category or Handgear A permit that fishes in multiple stock areas pursuant to paragraph (k)(2) of this section;

(5) A vessel issued a surfclam (SF 1) or an ocean quahog (OQ 6) open access permit;

(6) Effective January 1, 2009, a vessel issued a Maine mahogany quahog (OQ 7) limited access permit, unless otherwise exempted under paragraph §648.4(a)(4)(ii)(B)(1);

(7) A limited access monkfish vessel electing to fish in the Offshore Fishery Program in the SFMA, as provided in §648.95; and

(8) A vessel issued a limited access herring permit (i.e., Category A, B, or C), or a vessel issued a Category E Herring Permit, or a vessel declaring an Atlantic herring carrier trip via VMS.

(9) A vessel issued a Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 limited access Atlantic mackerel permit;

(10) A vessel issued a Tier 1 or Tier 2 longfin squid moratorium permit;

(11) A vessel issued an Illex squid moratorium permit; or

(12) A vessel issued a butterfish moratorium permit.

(c) Operating requirements for all vessels. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, or unless otherwise required by paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, all vessels required to use VMS units, as specified in paragraph (b) of this section, must transmit a signal indicating the vessel's accurate position, as specified under paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section:

(i) At least every hour, 24 hr a day, throughout the year; or

(ii) At least twice per hour, 24 hr a day, throughout the year, for vessels issued a scallop permit.

(2) Power-down exemption. (i) Any vessel required to transmit the vessel's location at all times, as required in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, is exempt from this requirement if it meets one or more of the following conditions and requirements:

(A) The vessel will be continuously out of the water for more than 72 consecutive hours, the vessel signs out of the VMS program by obtaining a valid letter of exemption pursuant to paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section, and the vessel complies with all conditions and requirements of said letter;

(B) The vessel owner signs out of the VMS program for a minimum period of 30 consecutive days by obtaining a valid letter of exemption pursuant to paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section, the vessel does not engage in any fisheries or move from the dock/mooring until the VMS unit is turned back on, and the vessel complies with all conditions and requirements of said letter;

(C) [Reserved]

(D) The vessel has been issued an LAGC permit, is not in possession of any scallops onboard the vessel, is tied to a permanent dock or mooring, the vessel operator has notified NMFS through VMS by transmitting the appropriate VMS power-down code that the VMS will be powered down, and the vessel is not required by other permit requirements for other fisheries to transmit the vessel's location at all times. Such a vessel must re-power the VMS and submit a valid VMS activity declaration prior to moving from the fixed dock or mooring. VMS codes and instructions are available from the Regional Administrator.

(ii) Letter of exemption—(A) Application. A vessel owner may apply for a letter of exemption from the VMS transmitting requirements specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section for his/her vessel by sending a written request to the Regional Administrator and providing the following: The location of the vessel during the time an exemption is sought; the exact time period for which an exemption is needed (i.e., the time the VMS signal will be turned off and turned on again); and, in the case of a vessel meeting the conditions of paragraph (c)(2)(i)(A) of this section, sufficient information to determine that the vessel will be out of the water for more than 72 consecutive hours. The letter of exemption must be on board the vessel at all times, and the vessel may not turn off the VMS signal until the letter of exemption has been received.

(B) Issuance. Upon receipt of an application, the Regional Administrator may issue a letter of exemption to the vessel if it is determined that the vessel owner provided sufficient information as required under this paragraph (c)(2), and that the issuance of the letter of exemption will not jeopardize accurate monitoring of the vessel's DAS. Upon written request, the Regional Administrator may change the time period for which the exemption is granted.

(d) Presumption. If a VMS unit fails to transmit an hourly signal of a vessel's position, the vessel shall be deemed to have incurred a DAS, or fraction thereof, for as long as the unit fails to transmit a signal, unless a preponderance of evidence shows that the failure to transmit was due to an unavoidable malfunction or disruption of the transmission that occurred while the vessel was properly declared out of the scallop fishery, NE multispecies fishery, or monkfish fishery, as applicable, or while the vessel was not at sea.

(e) VMS notifications—(1) VMS installation notification. (i) The owner of such a vessel specified in paragraph (b) of this section, with the exception of a vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit as specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, must provide documentation to the Regional Administrator at the time of application for a limited access permit that the vessel has an operational VMS unit installed on board that meets the minimum performance criteria, unless otherwise allowed under paragraph (b) of this section.

(ii) Vessel owners must confirm the VMS unit's operation and communications service to NMFS by calling the Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) to ensure that position reports are automatically sent to and received by NMFS OLE.

(iii) NMFS does not regard the fishing vessel as meeting the VMS requirements until automatic position reports and a manual declaration are received.

(iv) If a vessel has already been issued a limited access permit without the owner providing such documentation, the Regional Administrator shall allow at least 30 days for the vessel to install an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria, and for the owner to provide documentation of such installation to the Regional Administrator.

(v) The owner of a vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit that fishes or intends to fish under a NE multispecies Category A or B DAS, or that catches regulated species or ocean pout while on a sector trip, as specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, must provide documentation to the Regional Administrator that the vessel has an operational VMS unit installed on board, meeting all requirements of this part, prior to fishing under a NE multispecies DAS or under the provisions of an approved sector operations plan.

(vi) NMFS shall provide notification to all affected permit holders providing detailed information on procedures pertaining to VMS purchase, installation, and use.

(2) Replacement VMS installations. Should a VMS unit require replacement, a vessel owner must submit documentation to the Regional Administrator, within 3 days of installation and prior to the vessel's next trip, verifying, as described in this paragraph (e), that the new VMS unit is an operational approved system as described under §648.9(a).

(3) Access. As a condition to obtaining a limited access scallop, multispecies, an Atlantic herring, a surfclam, ocean quahog, or Maine mahogany quahog permit; or as a condition of using a VMS unit; all vessel owners must allow NMFS, the USCG, and their authorized officers or designees access to the vessel's DAS data, if applicable, and to location data obtained from its VMS unit, if required, at the time of or after its transmission to the vendor or receiver, as the case may be.

(4) Tampering. Tampering with a VMS, a VMS unit, or a VMS signal, is prohibited. Tampering includes any activity that may affect the unit's ability to operate or signal properly, or to accurately compute or report the vessel's position.

(5) Fishery participation notification. (i) A vessel subject to the VMS requirements of §648.9 and paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section that has crossed the VMS Demarcation Line under paragraph (a) of this section is deemed to be fishing under the DAS program, the Access Area Program, the LAGC IFQ or NGOM scallop fishery, or other fishery requiring the operation of VMS as applicable, unless prior to leaving port, the vessel's owner or authorized representative declares the vessel out of the scallop, NE multispecies, monkfish, or any other fishery, as applicable, for a specific time period. NMFS must be notified by transmitting the appropriate VMS code through the VMS, or unless the vessel's owner or authorized representative declares the vessel will be fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, as described in §648.85(a)(3)(ii), under the provisions of that program.

(ii) Notification that the vessel is not under the DAS program, the Access Area Program, the LAGC IFQ or NGOM scallop fishery, or any other fishery requiring the operation of VMS, must be received by NMFS prior to the vessel leaving port. A vessel may not change its status after the vessel leaves port or before it returns to port on any fishing trip, unless the vessel is a scallop vessel and is exempted, as specified in paragraph (f) of this section.

(iii) DAS counting for a vessel that is under the VMS notification requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, with the exception of vessels that have elected to fish exclusively in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area on a particular trip, as described in paragraph (e)(5) of this section, begins with the first location signal received showing that the vessel crossed the VMS Demarcation Line after leaving port. DAS counting ends with the first location signal received showing that the vessel crossed the VMS Demarcation Line upon its return to port, unless the vessel is declared into a limited access scallop DAS trip and, upon its return to port, declares out of the scallop fishery shoreward of the VMS Demarcation Line at or south of 39° N. lat., as specified in paragraph (f)(6) of this section, and lands in a port south of 39° N. lat.

(iv) For those vessels that have elected to fish exclusively in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area pursuant to §648.85(a)(3)(ii), the requirements of this paragraph (b) begin with the first location signal received showing that the vessel crossed into the Eastern U.S./Canada Area and end with the first location signal received showing that the vessel crossed out of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area upon beginning its return trip to port, unless the vessel elects to also fish outside the Eastern U.S./Canada Area on the same trip, in accordance with §648.85(a)(3)(ii)(A).

(v) The Regional Administrator may authorize or require the use of the call-in system instead of the use of VMS, as described under paragraph (h) of this section. Furthermore, the Regional Administrator may authorize or require the use of letters of authorization as an alternative means of enforcing possession limits, if VMS cannot be used for such purposes.

(f) Atlantic sea scallop vessel VMS notification requirements. Less than 1 hour prior to leaving port, the owner or authorized representative of a scallop vessel that is required to use VMS as specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section must notify the Regional Administrator by transmitting the appropriate VMS code that the vessel will be participating in the scallop DAS program, Area Access Program, LAGC scallop fishery, NGOM Management Program, or will be fishing outside of the scallop fishery under the requirements of its other Federal permits, or that the vessel will be steaming to another location prior to commencing its fishing trip by transmitting a “declared out of fishery” VMS code. If the owner or authorized representative of a scallop vessel declares out of the fishery for the steaming portion of the trip, the vessel cannot possess, retain, or land scallops, or fish for any other fish. Prior to commencing the fishing trip following a “declared out of fishery” trip, the owner or authorized representative must notify the Regional Administrator by transmitting the appropriate VMS code, before first crossing the VMS Demarcation Line, that the vessel will be participating in the scallop DAS program, Area Access Program, NGOM Management Program, or LAGC scallop fishery. VMS codes and instructions are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(1) IFQ scallop vessels. An IFQ scallop vessel that has crossed the VMS Demarcation Line specified under paragraph (a) of this section is deemed to be fishing under the IFQ program, unless prior to the vessel leaving port, the vessel's owner or authorized representative declares the vessel out of the scallop fishery by notifying the Regional Administrator through the VMS. If the vessel has not fished for any fish (i.e., steaming only), after declaring out of the fishery, leaving port, and steaming to another location, the owner or authorized representative of an IFQ scallop vessel may declare into the IFQ fishery without entering another port by making a declaration before first crossing the VMS Demarcation Line. An IFQ scallop vessel that is fishing north of 42°20 N. lat. is deemed to be fishing under the NGOM scallop fishery unless prior to the vessel leaving port, the vessel's owner or authorized representative declares the vessel out of the scallop fishery, as specified in paragraphs (e)(5)(i) and (ii) of this section. After declaring out of the fishery, leaving port, and steaming to another location, if the IFQ scallop vessel has not fished for any fish (i.e., steaming only), the vessel may declare into the NGOM fishery without entering another port by making a declaration before first crossing the VMS Demarcation Line.

(2) NGOM scallop fishery. A NGOM scallop vessel is deemed to be fishing in Federal waters of the NGOM management area and will have its landings applied against the LAGC portion of the NGOM management area TAC, specified in §648.62(b)(1), unless:

(i) Prior to the vessel leaving port, the vessel's owner or authorized representative declares the vessel out of the scallop fishery, as specified in paragraphs (e)(5)(i) and (ii) of this section, and the vessel does not possess, retain, or land scallops while under such a declaration. After declaring out of the fishery, leaving port, and steaming to another location, if the NGOM scallop vessel has not fished for any other fish (i.e., steaming only), the vessel may declare into the NGOM fishery without entering another port by making a declaration before first crossing the VMS Demarcation Line.

(ii) The vessel has specifically declared into the state-only NGOM fishery, thus is fishing exclusively in the state waters portion of the NGOM management area.

(3) Incidental scallop fishery. An Incidental scallop vessel that has crossed the VMS Demarcation Line on any declared fishing trip for any species is deemed to be fishing under the Incidental scallop fishery.

(4) Catch reports. (i) For trips greater than 24 hours, the owner or operator of a limited access or LAGC scallop vessel with an IFQ permit that fishes for, possesses, or retains scallops, and is not fishing under a NE Multispecies DAS or sector allocation, must submit reports through the VMS, in accordance with instructions to be provided by the Regional Administrator, for each day fished, including open area trips, access area trips as described in §648.59(b)(9), Northern Gulf of Maine RSA trips, and trips accompanied by a NMFS-certified observer. The reports must be submitted for each day (beginning at 0000 hr and ending at 2400 hr) and not later than 0900 hr of the following day. Such reports must include the following information:

(A) VTR serial number;

(B) Date fish were caught;

(C) Total pounds of scallop meats kept; and

(D) Total pounds of all fish kept.

(ii) Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form for IFQ and NGOM vessels. A vessel issued an IFQ or NGOM scallop permit must report through VMS, using the Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form, the amount of any scallops kept on each trip declared as a scallop trip, including declared scallop trips where no scallops were landed. In addition, vessels with an IFQ or NGOM permit must submit a Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form on trips that are not declared as scallop trips, but on which scallops are kept incidentally. A limited access vessel that also holds an IFQ or NGOM permit must submit the Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form only when fishing under the provisions of the vessel's IFQ or NGOM permit. VMS Scallop Pre-Landing Notification forms must be submitted no less than 6 hours prior to arrival, or, if fishing ends less than 6 hours before arrival, immediately after fishing ends. If scallops will be landed, the report must include the vessel operator's permit number, the amount of scallop meats in pounds to be landed, the number of bushels of in-shell scallops to be landed, the estimated time of arrival in port, the landing port and state where the scallops will be offloaded, the VTR serial number recorded from that trip's VTR (the same VTR serial number as reported to the dealer), and whether any scallops were caught in the NGOM. If no scallops will be landed, a vessel issued an IFQ or NGOM scallop permit must provide only the vessel's captain/operator's permit number, the VTR serial number recorded from that trip's VTR (the same VTR serial number as reported to the dealer), and confirmation that no scallops will be landed. A vessel issued an IFQ or NGOM scallop permit may provide a corrected report. If the report is being submitted as a correction of a prior report, the information entered into the notification form will replace the data previously submitted in the prior report. Submitting a correction does not prevent NMFS from pursuing an enforcement action for any false reporting.

(iii) Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form for limited access vessels fishing on scallop trips. A limited access vessel on a declared sea scallop trip must report through VMS, using the Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form, the amount of any scallops kept on each trip, including declared trips where no scallops were landed. The report must be submitted no less than 6 hours before arrival, or, if fishing ends less than 6 hours before arrival, immediately after fishing ends. If scallops will be landed, the report must include the vessel operator's permit number, the amount of scallop meats in pounds to be landed, the number of bushels of in-shell scallops to be landed, the estimated time of arrival, the landing port and state where the scallops will be offloaded, and the VTR serial number recorded from that trip's VTR (the same VTR serial number as reported to the dealer). If no scallops will be landed, a limited access vessel on a declared sea scallop trip must provide only the vessel's captain/operator's permit number, the VTR serial number recorded from that trip's VTR (the same VTR serial number as reported to the dealer), and confirmation that no scallops will be landed. A limited access scallop vessel may provide a corrected report. If the report is being submitted as a correction of a prior report, the information entered into the notification form will replace the data previously submitted in the prior report. Submitting a correction does not prevent NMFS from pursuing an enforcement action for any false reporting. A vessel may not offload its catch from a Sea Scallop Access Area trip at more than one location per trip.

(iv) Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form for limited access vessels on a declared DAS trip landing scallops at ports located at or south of 39° N. lat. In order to end a declared Sea Scallop DAS trip and steam south of 39° N. lat., a limited access vessel must first report through VMS, using the Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form, the amount of any scallops kept on its DAS trip. Upon crossing shoreward of the VMS Demarcation Line at or south of 39° N. lat., the Scallop Pre-Landing Notification form must be submitted. The report must include the vessel operator's permit number, the amount of scallop meats in pounds to be landed, the estimated time of arrival in port, the landing port and state where the scallops will be offloaded, and the VTR serial number recorded from that trip's VTR (the same VTR serial number as reported to the dealer). Prior to crossing seaward of the VMS Demarcation Line for the transit to a southern port at or south of 39° N. lat., the vessel must declare out of the scallop fishery. A limited access scallop vessel may provide a corrected report. If the report is being submitted as a correction of a prior report, the information entered into the notification form will replace the data previously submitted in the prior report. Submitting a correction does not prevent NMFS from pursuing an enforcement action for any false reporting.

(5) Scallop vessels fishing under exemptions. Vessels fishing under the exemptions provided by §648.54 (a) and/or (b)(1) must comply with the exemption requirements and notify the Regional Administrator by VMS notification or by call-in notification as follows:

(i) VMS notification for scallop vessels fishing under exemptions. (A) Notify the Regional Administrator, via their VMS, prior to each trip of the vessel under the state waters exemption program, that the vessel will be fishing exclusively in state waters; and

(B) Notify the Regional Administrator, via their VMS, prior to the vessel's first planned trip in the EEZ, that the vessel is to resume fishing under the vessel's DAS allocation.

(ii) Call-in notification for scallop vessels fishing under exemptions. (A) Notify the Regional Administrator by using the call-in system and providing the following information at least 7 days prior to fishing under the exemption:

(1) Owner and caller name and address;

(2) Vessel name and permit number; and

(3) Beginning and ending dates of the exemption period.

(B) Remain under the exemption for a minimum of 7 days.

(C) If, under the exemption for a minimum of 7 days and wishing to withdraw earlier than the designated end of the exemption period, notify the Regional Administrator of early withdrawal from the program by calling the call-in system, providing the vessel's name and permit number and the name and phone number of the caller, and stating that the vessel is withdrawing from the exemption. The vessel may not leave port to fish in the EEZ until 48 hr after notification of early withdrawal is received by the Regional Administrator.

(D) The Regional Administrator will furnish a phone number for call-ins upon request.

(E) Such vessels must comply with the VMS notification requirements specified in paragraph (e) of this section by notifying the Regional Administrator by entering the appropriate VMS code that the vessel is fishing outside of the scallop fishery. VMS codes and instructions are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(6) Limited access scallop vessels fishing under the DAS program and landing scallops at ports south of 39° N. Lat. If landing scallops at a port located at or south of 39° N. lat., a limited access vessel participating in the scallop DAS program may end its DAS trip once it has crossed shoreward of the VMS Demarcation Line at or south of 39° N. lat. by declaring out of the scallop fishery and submitting the Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form, as specified at paragraph (f)(4)(iv) of this section. Once declared out of the scallop fishery, and the vessel has submitted the Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form, the vessel may cross seaward of the VMS Demarcation Line and steam to a port at or south of 39° N. lat., to land scallops while not on a DAS. Such vessels that elect to change their declaration to steam to ports with scallops onboard and not accrue DAS must comply with all the requirements at §648.53(f)(3).

(g) VMS notification requirements for other fisheries. (1) The owner or authorized representative of a vessel that is required to or elects to use VMS, as specified in paragraph (b) of this section, must notify the Regional Administrator of the vessel's intended fishing activity by entering the appropriate VMS code prior to leaving port at the start of each fishing trip except:

(i) If notified by letter, pursuant to paragraph (e)(1)(iv) of this section, or

(ii) The vessel is a scallop vessel and is exempted, as specified in paragraph (f) of this section.

(2) Notification of a vessel's intended fishing activity includes, but is not limited to, gear and DAS type to be used; area to be fished; and whether the vessel will be declared out of the DAS fishery, or will participate in the NE multispecies and monkfish DAS fisheries, including approved special management programs.

(3) A vessel operator cannot change any aspect of a vessel's VMS activity code outside of port, except as follows:

(i) An operator of a NE multispecies vessel is authorized to change the category of NE multispecies DAS used (i.e., flip its DAS), as provided at §648.85(b), or change the area declared to be fished so that the vessel may fish both inside and outside of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area on the same trip, as provided at §648.85(a)(3)(ii)(A).

(ii) An operator of a vessel issued both a NE multispecies permit and a monkfish permit are authorized to change their DAS declaration from a NE multispecies Category A DAS to a monkfish DAS, while remaining subject to the to the NE multispecies DAS usage requirements under §648.92(b)(1)(i), during the course of a trip, as provided at §648.92(b)(1)(iii)(A).

(iii) The vessel carries onboard a valid limited access or LAGC scallop permit, has declared out of the fishery in port, and is steaming to another location, pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section.

(4) VMS activity codes and declaration instructions are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(h) Call-in notification. The owner of a vessel issued a limited access monkfish permit who is participating in a DAS program and who is not required to provide notification using a VMS, and a scallop vessel qualifying for a DAS allocation under the occasional category that has not elected to fish under the VMS notification requirements of paragraph (e) of this section and is not participating in the Sea Scallop Area Access program as specified in §648.59, and any vessel that may be required by the Regional Administrator to use the call-in program under paragraph (i) of this section, are subject to the following requirements:

(1) Less than 1 hr prior to leaving port, for vessels issued a limited access NE multispecies DAS permit or, for vessels issued a limited access NE multispecies DAS permit and a limited access monkfish permit (Category C, D, F, G, or H), unless otherwise specified in paragraph (h) of this section, or an occasional scallop permit as specified in this paragraph (h), and, prior to leaving port for vessels issued a limited access monkfish Category A or B permit, the vessel owner or authorized representative must notify the Regional Administrator that the vessel will be participating in the DAS program by calling the call-in system and providing the following information:

(i) Owner and caller name and phone number;

(ii) Vessel name and permit number;

(iii) Type of trip to be taken;

(iv) Port of departure; and

(v) That the vessel is beginning a trip.

(2) A DAS begins once the call has been received and a confirmation number is given by the Regional Administrator, or when a vessel leaves port, whichever occurs first, unless otherwise specified in paragraph (e)(2)(iii) of this section.

(3) Vessels issued a limited access monkfish Category C, D, F, G, or H permit that are allowed to fish as a monkfish Category A or B vessel in accordance with the provisions of §648.92(b)(2)(i) are subject to the call-in notification requirements for limited access monkfish Category A or B vessels specified under this paragraph (h) for those monkfish DAS when there is not a concurrent NE multispecies DAS.

(4) The vessel's confirmation numbers for the current and immediately prior NE multispecies or monkfish fishing trip must be maintained on board the vessel and provided to an authorized officer immediately upon request.

(5) At the end of a vessel's trip, upon its return to port, the vessel owner or owner's representative must call the Regional Administrator and notify him/her that the trip has ended by providing the following information:

(i) Owner and caller name and phone number;

(ii) Vessel name and permit number;

(iii) Port of landing; and

(iv) That the vessel has ended its trip.

(6) A DAS ends when the call has been received and confirmation has been given by the Regional Administrator, or when a vessel enters port at the end of a fishing trip, whichever occurs later, unless otherwise specified in paragraph (e)(2)(iii) of this section.

(7) The Regional Administrator will furnish a phone number for DAS notification call-ins upon request.

(8) Regardless of whether a vessel's owner or authorized representative provides correct notification as required by paragraphs (e) through (h) of this section, a vessel meeting any of the following descriptions shall be deemed to be in its respective fishery's DAS or Scallop Access Area Program for the purpose of counting DAS or scallop access area trips/pounds, and, shall be charged DAS from the time of sailing to landing:

(i) Any vessel issued a limited access scallop permit and not issued an LAGC scallop permit that possesses or lands scallops;

(ii) A vessel issued a limited access scallop and LAGC IFQ scallop permit that possesses or lands more than 600 lb (272.2 kg) of scallops, unless otherwise specified in §648.59(d)(2);

(iii) Any vessel issued a limited access scallop and LAGC NGOM scallop permit that possesses or lands more than 200 lb (90.7 kg) of scallops;

(iv) Any vessel issued a limited access scallop and LAGC IC scallop permit that possesses or lands more than 40 lb (18.1 kg) of scallops;

(v) Any vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit subject to the NE multispecies DAS program requirements that possesses or lands regulated NE multispecies, except as provided in §§648.10(h)(9)(ii), 648.17, and 648.89; and

(vi) Any vessel issued a limited access monkfish permit subject to the monkfish DAS program and call-in requirement that possesses or lands monkfish above the incidental catch trip limits specified in §648.94(c).

(9) Vessels electing to use VMS. (i) A vessel issued a limited access monkfish, Occasional scallop, or Combination permit must use the call-in system specified in paragraph (h) of this section, unless the owner of such vessel has elected to provide the notifications required by paragraph (g) of this section, through VMS as specified under paragraph (h)(9)(ii) of this section. Any vessel issued a limited access monkfish or an Occasional scallop permit that has elected to provide notifications through VMS must continue to provide notifications through VMS for the entire fishing year.

(ii) A vessel issued a limited access monkfish or Occasional scallop permit may be authorized by the Regional Administrator to provide the notifications required by paragraph (e) of this section using the VMS specified in paragraph (b) of this section. For the vessel to become authorized, the vessel owner must provide documentation to the Regional Administrator at the time of application for a limited access permit that the vessel has installed on board an operational VMS as provided under §648.9(a). A vessel that is authorized to use the VMS in lieu of the call-in requirement for DAS notification shall be subject to the requirements and presumptions described under paragraphs (e)(2)(i) through (v) of this section. This paragraph (h) does not apply to vessels electing to use the VMS.

(i) Temporary authorization for use of the call-in system. The Regional Administrator may authorize or require, on a temporary basis, the use of the call-in system of notification specified in paragraph (h) of this section, instead of using the VMS. If use of the call-in system is authorized or required, the Regional Administrator shall notify affected permit holders through a letter, notification in the Federal Register, e-mail, or other appropriate means.

(j) Additional NE multispecies call-in requirements—(1) Spawning season call-in. With the exception of a vessel issued a valid Small Vessel category permit or the Handgear A permit category, vessels subject to the spawning season restriction described in §648.82 must notify the Regional Administrator of the commencement date of their 20-day period out of the NE multispecies fishery through the IVR system (or through VMS, if required by the Regional Administrator) and provide the following information:

(i) Vessel name and permit number;

(ii) Owner and caller name and phone number; and

(iii) Commencement date of the 20-day period.

(2) Gillnet call-in. A vessel subject to the gillnet restriction described in §648.82 must notify the Regional Administrator of the commencement of its time out of the NE multispecies gillnet fishery using the procedure described in paragraph (k)(1) of this section.

(k) Area-specific reporting requirements for NE multispecies vessels—(1) Reporting requirements for all limited access NE multispecies vessel owners or operators. In addition to any other reporting requirements specified in this part, the owner or operator of any vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit on either a common pool or sector trip must declare the following information via VMS or IVR, as instructed by the Regional Administrator:

(i) Broad stock area(s) to be fished. To fish in any of the broad stock areas, the vessel owner or operator must declare his/her intent to fish within one or more of the NE multispecies broad stock areas, as defined in paragraph (k)(3) of this section, prior to leaving port at the start of a fishing trip;

(ii) VTR serial number. On its return to port, prior to crossing the VMS demarcation line, as defined at §648.10, the vessel owner or operator must provide the VTR serial number for the first page of the VTR for that particular trip, or other applicable trip ID specified by NMFS; and

(iii) Trip-start hail report. If instructed by the Regional Administrator or required by a sector operations plan approved pursuant to §648.87(b)(2) and (c), the operator of a vessel must submit a trip-start hail report prior to departing port at the beginning of each trip notifying the sector manager and/or NMFS of the vessel permit number; trip ID number in the form of the VTR serial number of the first VTR page for that trip, or another trip identifier specified by NMFS; an estimate of the date and time of arrival to port; and any other information as instructed by the Regional Administrator. Trip-start hail reports by vessels operating less than 6 hr or within 6 hr of port must also include estimated date and time of offload. The trip-start hail report may be submitted via VMS or some other method, as instructed by the Regional Administrator or required by a sector operations plan approved pursuant to §648.87(b)(2) and (c). If the vessel operator does not receive confirmation of the receipt of the trip-start hail report from the sector manager or NMFS, the operator must contact the intended receiver to confirm the trip-start hail report via an independent back-up system, as instructed by the Regional Administrator. To the extent possible, NMFS shall reduce unnecessary duplication of the trip-start hail report with any other applicable reporting requirements..

(iv) Trip-end hail report. Upon its return to port and prior to crossing the VMS demarcation line as defined in §648.10, the owner or operator of any vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit that is subject to the VMS requirements specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section must submit a trip-end hail report to NMFS via VMS, as instructed by the Regional Administrator. The trip-end hail report must include at least the following information, as instructed by the Regional Administrator: The vessel permit number; VTR serial number, or other applicable trip ID specified by NMFS; intended offloading location(s), including the dealer name/offload location, port/harbor, and state for the first dealer/facility where the vessel intends to offload catch and the port/harbor, and state for the second dealer/facility where the vessel intends to offload catch; estimated date/time of arrival; estimated date/time of offload; and the estimated total amount of all species retained, including species managed by other FMPs (in pounds, landed weight), on board at the time the vessel first offloads its catch from a particular trip. The trip-end hail report must be submitted at least 6 hr in advance of landing for all trips of at least 6 hr in duration or occurring more than 6 hr from port. For shorter trips, the trip-end hail reports must be submitted upon the completion of the last tow or hauling of gear, as instructed by the Regional Administrator. To the extent possible, NMFS shall reduce unnecessary duplication of the trip-end hail reports with any other applicable reporting requirements.

(2) Reporting requirements for NE multispecies vessel owners or operators fishing in more than one broad stock area per trip. Unless otherwise provided in this paragraph (k)(2), the owner or operator of any vessel issued a NE multispecies limited access permit that has declared its intent to fish within multiple NE multispecies broad stock areas, as defined in paragraph (k)(3) of this section, on the same trip must submit a hail report via VMS providing a good-faith estimate of the amount of each regulated species retained (in pounds, landed weight) and the total amount of all species retained (in pounds, landed weight), including NE multispecies and species managed by other FMPs, from each statistical area. This reporting requirement is in addition to the reporting requirements specified in paragraph (k)(1) of this section and any other reporting requirements specified in this part. The report frequency is detailed in paragraphs (k)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section.

(i) Vessels declaring into GOM Stock Area and any other stock area. A vessel declared to fish in the GOM Stock Area, as defined in paragraph (k)(3)(i) of this section, and any other stock area defined in paragraphs (k)(3)(ii) through (iv) of this section, must submit a daily VMS catch report in 24-hr intervals for each day by 0900 hr of the following day. Reports are required even if groundfish species caught that day have not yet been landed.

(ii) Vessels declaring into multiple broad stock areas not including GOM Stock Area. A vessel declared into multiple stock areas defined in paragraphs (k)(3)(ii) through (iv) of this section, not including the GOM Stock Area I defined in paragraph (k)(3)(i) of this section, must submit a trip-level report via VMS prior to crossing the VMS demarcation line, as defined in §648.10, upon its return to port following each fishing trip on which regulated species were caught, as instructed by the Regional Administrator.

(iii) The Regional Administrator may adjust the reporting frequency specified in paragraph (k)(2) of this section.

(iv) Exemptions from broad stock area VMS reporting requirements. (A) A vessel is exempt from the reporting requirements specified in paragraph (k)(2) of this section if it is fishing in a special management program, as specified in §648.85, and is required to submit daily VMS catch reports consistent with the requirements of that program.

(B) The Regional Administrator may exempt vessels on a sector trip from the reporting requirements specified in this paragraph (k)(2) if it is determined that such reporting requirements would duplicate those specified in §648.87(b).

(3) NE multispecies broad stock areas. For the purposes of the area-specific reporting requirements listed in paragraph (k)(1) of this section, the NE multispecies broad stock areas are defined in paragraphs (k)(3)(i) through (iv) of this section. Copies of a map depicting these areas are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(i) GOM Stock Area 1. The GOM Stock Area 1 is bounded on the east by the U.S./Canadian maritime boundary and straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

GOM Stock Area 1

PointN. latitudeW. longitude
G1(1)(1)
CII3(1)67°20
G642°2067°20
G1042°2070°00
G9(2)70°00

1The intersection of the shoreline and the U.S.-Canada maritime boundary.

2The intersection of the Cape Cod, MA, coastline and 70°00 W. long.

(ii) Inshore GB Stock Area 2. The inshore GB Stock Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Inshore GB Stock Area 2

PointN. latitudeW. longitude
G9(1)70°00
G1042°2070°00
IGB142°2068°50
IGB241°0068°50
IGB341°0069°30
IGB441°1069°30
IGB541°1069°50
IGB641°2069°50
IGB741°2070°00
G12(2)70°00

1The intersection of the Cape Cod, MA, coastline and 70°00 W. long.

2South-facing shoreline of Cape Cod, MA.

(iii) Offshore GB Stock Area 3. The Offshore GB Stock Area 3 is bounded on the east by the U.S./Canadian maritime boundary and defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Offshore GB Stock Area 3

PointN. latitudeW. longitude
IGB142°2068°50
G642°2067°20
CII3(1)67°20
SNE239°00(1)
SNE339°0069°00
SNE439°5069°00
SNE539°5068°50
IGB142°2068°50

1The U.S.-Canada maritime boundary as it intersects with the EEZ.

(iv) SNE/MA Stock Area 4. The SNE/MA Stock Area 4 is the area bounded on the north and west by the coastline of the United States, bounded on the south by a line running from the east-facing coastline of North Carolina at 35° N. lat. until its intersection with the EEZ, and bounded on the east by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

SNE/MA Stock Area 4

PointN. latitudeW. longitude
G12(1)70°00
IGB741°2070°00
IGB641°2069°50
IGB541°1069°50
IGB441°1069°30
IGB341°0069°30
IGB241°0068°50
SNE439°5068°50
SNE339°5069°00
SNE539°0069°00
SNE639°00(2)

1South-facing shoreline of Cape Cod, MA.

2The U.S.-Canada maritime boundary as it intersects with the EEZ.

(l) [Reserved]

(m) Atlantic herring VMS notification requirements. (1) A vessel issued a limited access herring permit (i.e., Category A, B, or C) or a Category E Herring Permit intending to declare into the herring fishery or a vessel issued a herring permit and intending to declare an Atlantic herring carrier trip via VMS must notify NMFS by declaring a herring trip with the appropriate gear code prior to leaving port at the start of each trip in order to harvest, possess, or land herring on that trip.

(2) A vessel issued a limited access herring permit (i.e., Category A, B, or C) or a Category E Herring Permit or a vessel that declared an Atlantic herring carrier trip via VMS must notify NMFS Office of Law Enforcement through VMS of the time and place of offloading at least 6 hours prior to landing or, if fishing ends less than 6 hours before landing, as soon as the vessel stops catching fish. The Regional Administrator may adjust the prior notification minimum time through publication of a document in the Federal Register consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act.

(n) Limited access Atlantic mackerel VMS notification requirements. (1) A vessel issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit intending to declare into the mackerel fishery must notify NMFS by declaring a mackerel trip prior to leaving port at the start of each trip in order to harvest, possess, or land mackerel on that trip.

(2) A vessel issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit intending to land more than 20,000 lb (9.07 mt) of mackerel must notify NMFS of the time and place of offloading at least 6 hr prior prior to arrival, or, if fishing ends less than 6 hours before arrival, immediately upon leaving the fishing grounds. The Regional Administrator may adjust the prior notification minimum time through publication in the Federal Register consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act.

(o) Longfin squid VMS notification requirement. A vessel issued a Tier 1 or Tier 2 longfin squid moratorium permit intending to harvest, possess, or land more than 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) of longfin squid on that trip must notify NMFS by declaring a longfin squid trip before leaving port at the start of each trip.

(p) Illex squid VMS notification requirement. A vessel issued an Illex squid moratorium permit intending to harvest, possess, or land 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) or more of Illex squid on that trip must notify NMFS by declaring an Illex squid trip before leaving port at the start of each trip.

[74 FR 20530, May 4, 2009]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §648.10, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

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