NOAA Fisheries Reminders Re: Individual Fishing Quota Program


red snapper

End of Year Landing Transactions
NOAA Fisheries will shut down the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) online system for maintenance beginning 6 p.m. EST, December 31, 2016.  Dealers and IFQ fishermen are reminded that all electronic transactions for the 2016 fishing year must be completed before this time.  Online IFQ functions will resume at 2 p.m. EST on January 1, 2017.  You may still submit an advanced notice of landing during the 20-hour maintenance window by using your vessel monitoring system or by calling Catch Share Customer Service (866) 425-7627 (Option 1).  However, only landing transactions completed prior to 6 p.m. EST, December 31, 2016, will count toward your 2016 allocation.

2017 Quotas (in pounds, gutted weight)

IFQ Share Category Quota
Deep Water Grouper 1,024,000
Gag 939,000
Other Shallow Water Grouper 525,000
Red Grouper 7,780,000
Red Snapper 6,003,604
Tilefish 582,000

Multi-Use Allocation
The gag and red grouper multi-use allocation percentages may change each year based on the annual catch limit and quotas for red grouper and gag.  For 2017, red grouper multi-use allocation will be 3.5% of your total red grouper allocation, while gag multi-use allocation will be 43.6% of your total gag allocation.

Transfer 2017 Allocation to Your Vessel Account after January 1
On January 1, allocation will be issued to your shareholder account, not your vessel account.  To use this allocation to harvest IFQ species, you must transfer sufficient allocation to your vessel account prior to completing a landing transaction.  To transfer allocation to your vessel account, log in to your IFQ account.  On the menu bar select Allocation then select Transfer Allocation and follow the instructions.

Transferring Allocation to Another Shareholder’s Vessel Account
When transferring allocation to another shareholder’s vessel account, use the vessel’s Coast Guard documentation or state registration number in the search box.  Many vessels have similar names and this will ensure the transferor selects the correct vessel.

Accept Share Transfers
Please remember that a share transfer is a two-step process requiring the transferor to initiate the transaction and the transferee to complete the transaction.  The transferee completes the transaction by accepting the share transfer under the Receive Transferred Shares view.  A share transfer transaction that has not been accepted by the transferee (e.g., pending status) after 30 days from the date the transfer was initiated will be cancelled.  If the share transfer is still preferred, the transferor will have to restart the share transfer process.

Pre-Landing Notifications
As a reminder, if you do not have IFQ fish onboard, you do not need to make a pre-landing notification (“hail-in”).  Only trips with IFQ species onboard must provide at least 3 hours, but no more than 24 hours, notice of landing.

When using the 24/7 call service to report your pre-landing notification, please provide your vessel’s Coast Guard documentation or state registration number.  This will ensure the pre-landing notification is given for the correct vessel instead of another vessel with a similar name.

Please remember that the 24/7 call service is only to report pre-landing notifications.  They cannot complete dealer landing transactions. The only way to complete dealer landing transactions is through the online system by logging into the dealer account.

Dealer Landing Transactions
When dealers complete a landing transaction, step 4 specifies to select a notification confirmation to link the vessel’s pre-landing notification with the landing transaction.  However, for a variety of reasons, sometimes there are no notifications to select.  In this case, the dealer must select “No Notification Meets Criteria” to complete the landing transaction.

VMS Troubleshooting
If your VMS unit is not positioning, turning the unit off and then on may clear any internal errors and restart unit positioning.  If you still experience non-reporting, contact your VMS vendor directly:

McMurdo/Boatracs: 800-262-8722
Network Innovations: 888-664-6727
Faria Beede Instruments: 860-848-6600
Skymate: 866-759-6283
CLS America: 301-925-4411

For more VMS troubleshooting, please review the  Frequently Asked Questions on the IFQ Homepage.  To contact the Southeast Regional Office VMS Support, call (800) 758-4833.

Cost Recovery Fees
IFQ fishermen are charged a fee to recover a portion of the costs required to administer, manage, and enforce the IFQ programs.  The current cost recovery fee is 3% of the ex-vessel value of the landed fish before any deductions are made for transferred (leased) allocation and goods and services (e.g., bait, ice, fuel, repairs, machinery replacement, etc.).  After the end of each calendar quarter, each dealer must submit the cost recovery fees to NOAA Fisheries via the online system.  The dealer has 30 days from the end of the quarter to submit the cost recovery fee.  If the fee is not paid by the end of the 30 days, the dealer account will be suspended until the fee is paid.  The payment schedule is listed below so that dealers may mark their calendars as a reminder.

Quarter Cost Recovery Fee available Cost Recovery Fee due on or before
1st April 1 May 1
2nd July 1 July 31
3rd October 1 October 31
4th January 1 January 31

IFQ Accounts and Gulf of Mexico Commercial Reef Fish Permits
An IFQ account must be related to a Gulf of Mexico commercial reef fish permit to harvest IFQ species.  The same name(s) must be on both the IFQ account and Gulf of Mexico reef fish permit.  Any changes to the name(s) on a permit (e.g., adding or removing a spouse or partner) will separate the permit from the IFQ account.  You must then establish a new IFQ account based on the names on the permit.  Please allow adequate time to establish an IFQ account, as it may take a few days for the new account UserID and PIN to be mailed to you.  For additional information about IFQ accounts and Gulf of Mexico commercial reef fish permits, please review the Frequently Asked Questions on the IFQ Homepage.

Display of Share Percentages on the Public Web Page
The Freedom of Information Act Web page displays the IFQ Gulf Reef Fish Accounts for the account’s current shareholding for each share category.  This page lists the primary contact associated with an IFQ account, although additional entities (businesses or individuals) may be associated with the account.  This information is being displayed based on Section 402(b)(1)(G) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Forgot PIN Option
The online system provides a “Forgot PIN” to help users retrieve their PINs to log into the IFQ system.  In order to utilize this function, users must have secret questions and an email address set up in their online account.  This can be set up for each Shareholder, Vessel, and Dealer account.  For additional information about how to set up secret questions and an email address, please review the Troubleshooting Guide on the IFQ Homepage.

Please Send Your Feedback
As the online system continues to change, please provide your suggested changes and additions by e-mail to   [email protected], or call Catch Share Support at (866) 425-7627 (Option 2) Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., EST, excluding federal holidays.  We will review the suggested changes and if possible, incorporate your suggestions into the program.

This bulletin provides only a summary of the information regarding the existing regulations.  Any discrepancies between this bulletin and the regulations as published in the Federal Register will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register.

NOAA Fisheries Southeast is pleased to announce the introduction of our Text Message Alert Program.  The program will allow you to sign up to receive important fishery related alerts via text message. Text alerts you may receive include immediate fishery openings and closures, and any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly.

How to opt-in
Sign up for related alerts for one or more of the following groups. Standard message & data rates may apply. You may opt-out at any time.

Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries: Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries: Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777
South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries: Text SATLRECFISH to 888777
South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries: Text SATLCOMMFISH to 888777
Caribbean Fisheries: Text CARIBFISH to 888777

About Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Council prepares fishery management plans, which are designed to manage fishery resources within the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico.