Reminder: Replace McMurdo Omnitracs Vessel Monitoring Systems

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

NOAA Fisheries - New England - Mid Atlantic Bulletin

March 17, 2020

Reminder: Replace McMurdo Omnitracs Vessel Monitoring Systems

Beginning April 1, 2020 current McMurdo Omnitracs vessel monitoring system (VMS) units will no longer be supported.

Vessels may not operate without a compliant VMS unit. Consequently, if you have not replaced and activated your new VMS unit by April 1, 2020, you will be out of compliance with the VMS regulations and will not be authorized to fish.

To comply with the VMS regulations, you must replace your current unit with one of the following type-approved units:

  • AddValue iFleetONE (***Newly Type-Approved)
  • SkyMate I1500 VMS
  • SkyMate m1600 VMS
  • Woods Hole Group - Triton Advanced

Alternatively, you may request a “power-down” exemption. A power-down exemption allows you to turn off your VMS unit while your vessel is out of the water for 72 consecutive hours or is docked for a minimum period of 30 days, or meets other conditions. Any vessel that holds a permit requiring VMS cannot turn the power to the unit off unless it is granted a power down exemption. If you are interested in pursuing this option, you should call the Northeast VMS Team to initiate a power down exemption request. Once a request is approved, the Regional Administrator will issue a Letter of Exemption (LOE) authorizing the VMS to be turned off while in port. If your vessel has a type-approved VMS unit installed before the LOE expires, the Northeast VMS team will terminate the power down LOE, so that you may begin fishing.


VMS-specific: Northeast VMS Team, (978) 281-9213

VMS reimbursement and activation/deactivation: VMS Help Desk, (888) 219-9228

Other: Sustainable Fisheries Division, (978) 281-9315