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Vessel Monitoring Systems

Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) are used to facilitate enforcement of time/area and fishery closures. Certain owners or operators of a commercial vessels that are permitted, or required to be permitted, to fish for Atlantic HMS are required to install a NOAA Fisheries-approved enhanced mobile transmitting unit (E-MTU) VMS on board the vessel and operate the VMS unit under the circumstances below:

  1. Whenever the vessel has pelagic longline gear on board
  2. Whenever a vessel issued a directed shark limited access permit (LAP), has bottom longline gear on board, is located between 33°00′ N. latitude and 36°30′ N. latitude, and the Mid-Atlantic shark closed area is closed as specified in § 635.21(d)(1), or
  3. Whenever a vessel issued a directed shark LAP has gillnet gear on board from November 15-April 15.

Explore the links below for additional information and news about VMS.

VMS Questions Call 1-800-758-4833

NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement VMS Webpage

Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Vessel Monitoring System Program Compliance Guide (Revised November 2013)

Forms

News and Updates

2013

11/14/2013NOAA Fisheries Announces a Final Rule to Modify Vessel Monitoring System Requirements in Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fisheries
Federal Register Notice | Listserv Notice
08/29/2013NOAA Fisheries Announces a Proposed Rule to Modify Vessel Monitoring System Requirements in Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fisheries
Federal Register Notice | Listserv Notice

2012

12/13/2012NOAA Fisheries Reminds Fishermen of New VMS Requirements in Atlantic HMS Fisheries Effective January 1, 2013
Listserv Notice
10/11/2012NOAA Fisheries Announces a New Effective Date for Vessel Monitoring System Requirements for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species
Federal Register Notice | Listserv Notice
Compliance Guide
02/29/2012NOAA Fisheries Announces its Intent to Delay Implementation of New Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) Requirements for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fisheries
Listserv Notice
02/23/2012NOAA Fisheries Announces Alternate Procedures to Address Reporting Problems with VMS Units in Atlantic HMS Fisheries
Listserv Notice

2011

12/02/2011NOAA Fisheries Announces a Final Rule to Require New Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Units and Establish Additional Requirements in Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fisheries
Federal Register Notice | Listserv Notice
Approved Units Federal Register notice
Final Regulatory Impact Review and Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
07/01/2011NOAA Fisheries Announces Additional Public Hearings for a Proposed Rule to Update Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Requirements in Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fisheries
Federal Register Notice | Listserv Notice
Public Hearing Presentation
06/21/2011NOAA Fisheries Announces a Proposed Rule to Update Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Requirements in Atlantic HMS Fisheries
Federal Register Notice | Listserv Notice
Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis and Regulatory Impact Review

2007

02/27/2007NOAA Fisheries Announces New VMS Type Approval for HMS Fisheries and Other Regional Programs
Federal Register Notice

2004

08/17/2004Final Rule - Vessel Monitoring Requirement for Atlantic Shark Fisheries
Federal Register Notice
04/15/2004VMS Type Approval Notice for All HMS Fisheries
Federal Register Notice

2003

06/25/2003Final Rule - Vessel Monitoring System Required for Pelagic Longline Vessels Effective September 1, 2003
Federal Register Notice
03/19/2003OMB VMS Paperwork Reduction Act Clearance Request
Federal Register Notice
03/11/2003VMS Type Approval Notice
Federal Register Notice

2001

08/24/2001Final VMS Remand Document