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Atlantic HMS Individual Bluefin Quota (IBQ) Program Vessel PIN Required to Confirm BFT Transactions Online

March 14, 2016

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces a new functionality in the IBQ System, consistent with Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan.  Vessel owners or operators are required to enter their vessel account PIN to confirm an Atlantic bluefin tuna catch transaction entered by a dealer (similar to signing the traditional bluefin tuna landing card).  The purpose of the vessel PIN requirement is to provide the vessel owner or operator the opportunity to confirm that the correct amount and type of bluefin allocation is being debited from the correct vessel account to account for both landings and dead discards of bluefin tuna.

When a dealer enters a bluefin catch transaction (landing or dead discard) in the IBQ System and hits Submit, a pop up screen will appear asking for the vessel account PIN (see Figure 1).  The vessel owner or operator will then need to enter their vessel account PIN and click “PIN Confirmation.”  Once the correct PIN is confirmed, the dealer will be able to click “Final Confirmation.”  This completes the transaction and brings the dealer to the catch transaction confirmation screen. (For further detail on entering catch transactions, see the IBQ System Troubleshooting Guide.) 

An IBQ Shareholder can find their vessel account PIN by logging into the shareholder account (see Figure 2).  Go to “My Account” and “Update Account.” In the table at the top of the screen, click on the vessel account (BFTV1234 in this example).  The account name will be highlighted in blue.  Under the table, next to “Reveal password” click on the unlock icon (see red arrow in Figure 2).  The vessel PIN will show in the box below.  This is the PIN the vessel owner or operator will need to confirm a catch transaction.  This PIN can be used to log into the vessel account, but not into the shareholder account. The vessel operator should have this PIN noted, so that if at the end of the trip the vessel must account for bluefin tuna catch they will be able to coordinate with the dealer to enter the PIN into the online IBQ system.

If the catch transaction will result in the allocation balance in the vessel account being below the minimum allocation required to depart on a fishing trip (551 lb in the Gulf of Mexico; 276 lb in the Atlantic) or the vessel account going into quota debt, a Notice will appear on the vessel PIN confirmation pop up screen (see Figure 3).  If the catch transaction is being completed for a vessel account that is already in quota debt or whose balance is already below the minimum allocation, a Warning will appear on the vessel PIN confirmation pop up screen.

For assistance using the IBQ System, completing catch transactions, or locating a vessel PIN, please contact IBQ Customer Service at 301-427-8591 or

Figure 1. Vessel PIN confirmation pop up screen seen when completing a catch transaction from an IBQ Dealer account.


Figure 2. Locating vessel PIN from an IBQ Shareholder account.


Figure 3. Notice and Warning that may appear when completing a catch transaction.

Note: Screenshots contained in this notice are subject to change.

This notice is a courtesy to 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 or Carrie Soltanoff at 301-427-8503, or Jennifer Cudney at 727-824-5399.