Hurricane Laura made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, as a Category 4 hurricane on August 27, 2020. NOAA Fisheries has determined that catastrophic conditions exist in the following Texas counties and Louisiana Parishes:
Orange, Jefferson, Chambers, Harris, and Galveston Counties, and Saint Tammany, Orleans, Saint Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, Saint Charles, Lafourche, Terrebonne, Saint Mary, Iberia, Vermilion, and Cameron Parishes.
Therefore, for any federally permitted dealer in the affected area who does not have access to electronic reporting, NOAA Fisheries is authorizing, through October 5, 2020:
- Delayed reporting of trip tickets to NOAA Fisheries; and
- The use of paper-based reporting forms for red snapper and grouper-tilefish individual fishing quota (IFQ) participants.
- Dealers are to report all landings through the state trip ticket program as soon as possible.
- Federal dealers in effected areas are released from the weekly reporting requirement of trip tickets to NOAA Fisheries through October 5, 2020, but must report all landings as soon as possible. For questions, contact the Fisheries Monitoring Branch: 305-361-4581.
- The electronic systems for submitting landings and IFQ information to NOAA Fisheries will continue to be available to all dealers. Participants shall continue to use the electronic systems if it is accessible.
- NOAA Fisheries has previously provided IFQ dealers the necessary paper forms and instructions for reporting during catastrophic conditions. Paper forms are also available upon request by calling IFQ Customer Service at the phone number listed above or by writing:
- NOAA Fisheries
Southeast Regional Office
Sustainable Fisheries Division
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505
- NOAA Fisheries
- The IFQ program functions available to participants in the geographic area affected by catastrophic conditions will be limited for those using the paper-based system. There will be no mechanism for transfers of IFQ shares or allocation for those using the paper-based system during catastrophic conditions.
- Assistance in complying with the requirements of the paper-based system will be available via IFQ Customer Service 1-866-425-7627 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.
- Regulations implementing dealer reporting and the IFQ programs provide for delayed reporting and IFQ paper-based reporting in the event of catastrophic conditions. These regulations require NOAA Fisheries to determine when the catastrophic conditions exist, the duration of the catastrophic conditions, and which participants or geographic areas are affected.
- NOAA Fisheries will continue to monitor and reevaluate the areas and duration of the catastrophic conditions. A subsequent Fishery Bulletin will be published if additional notice is needed.