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Highly Migratory Species; Pelagic Longline Vessel Electronic Monitoring Systems – Procedures for Hard Drive Mailing and Important Reminders

Posted May 15, 2015

As of June 1, 2015, a vessel with an Atlantic Tunas Longline category permit must have an electronic monitoring (EM) system installed, operable, and certified to depart on a fishing trip with pelagic longline gear on board.

If you already have an EM system installed, NMFS strongly recommends that vessel operators test their EM system prior to June 1, in order to ensure that the system is operating properly, and that the vessel captain and crew are familiar with the procedures.  The system’s operation and testing instructions are contained in the skipper education guide that was/is supplied by Saltwater, Inc. during the system installation. 

At the end of each trip, the vessel operator is required to remove the hard drives containing the data from the computer and place them in a padded cardboard box that was provided during EM system installation.  Along with the hard drives, the vessel operator must provide a pre-paid, self-addressed mailer or label to ensure they receive their replacement drives. The computer hard drives (and mailer or label) should be sent via USPS or Federal Express (FedEx) (or other traceable method) to the following address:

Earth Resources Technology, Inc. (ERT) – EM Video Operator
8380 Colesville Road
Suite 100-A
Silver Spring, MD 20910
240-393-4213

Because each vessel was provided four computer hard drives at the time of installation, the vessel will be able to immediately replace the drive(s) removed from the computer with blank hard drives, and be ready for their next pelagic longline fishing trip. 

ERT will send replacement hard drives to the address provided by the vessel operator.  After the vessel operator has used the shipping boxes provided at installation, the vessel operator will be responsible for obtaining padded mailers for shipping the hard drives to ERT, as well as purchasing pre-paid self-addressed mailing labels for shipment of the replacement hard drives back to the vessel owner or operator.

For any questions regarding the operation of the EM systems, the purchase of additional hard drives, or if the EM system is not working properly, please call Saltwater, Inc., at 1-800-770-3241.  A Saltwater technician will work with you to resolve the problem by phone, or if necessary, schedule an in-person appointment to troubleshoot the EM system.  Please remember that as of June 1, 2015, if the EM system is not working properly, the vessel may not depart on a pelagic longline fishing trip or  have pelagic longline gear onboard the vessel.

EM System Installation and Funding:

Vessel operators with an Atlantic Tunas Longline category permit that plan on fishing with pelagic longline gear after June 1, 2015, and that have not yet installed an EM system, still have the opportunity to schedule an appointment with Saltwater, Inc. to have a system installed.  Pre-scheduled locations for installation are in Barnegat Light, NJ and Fairhaven, MA, during the time periods of May 11 through 17 and May 19 through 25.   Call 1-800-770-3241 to schedule the date of installation and training at least one week in advance of the desired date of installation. 

For Vessels Eligible for Individual Bluefin Quota (IBQ) shares:

Funding for EM installation and training will be available for vessels that are designated as eligible for IBQ shares, until June 1, 2015. After that date,  funding for EM installation  will be available on a “first come-first served” basis.

For Vessels Designated as Not Eligible for IBQ shares:

Funding for EM installation and training will be available on a “first come-first served” basis for a limited number of pelagic longline vessels that were designated as not eligible for IBQ shares. These systems will be available on a “first come-first served” basis. Contact Saltwater Inc. at 1-800-770-3241 to schedule an install.

This notice is a courtesy to HMS fishery participants to help keep you informed about the fishery.  For further information, contact Thomas Warren or Brad McHale at 978-281-9260,  Craig Cockrell at 301-427-8503, or Jennifer Cudney at 727-824-5399.  This information will also be posted on the HMS website at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms.

 

 

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