NOAA Fisheries Provides an Update on Notification Requirements and Implementing Industry-Funded Monitoring in the Atlantic Herring Fishery

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NOAA Fisheries - New England - Mid Atlantic Bulletin

March 31, 2020

Update on Notification Requirements and Implementing Industry-Funded Monitoring in the Atlantic Herring Fishery

On February 12, 2020, we invited monitoring service providers to apply to become NOAA Fisheries-approved providers for industry-funded observer, at-sea monitoring, and portside sampling coverage. We expect to announce the approved industry-funded monitoring providers in April.   

Beginning April 1, 2020, herring vessels will notify us via the pre-trip notification system (PTNS) to be considered for monitoring coverage, including coverage to satisfy Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology coverage and industry-funded monitoring coverage. The details of new and existing notification, reporting, and monitoring requirements, and how to comply with those requirements, is described in this bulletin.

Originally, we had also planned to begin selecting vessels, specifically vessels issued Category A or B herring permits, for industry-funded at-sea monitoring coverage on April 1. However, we are delaying the start date to begin assigning industry-funded monitoring coverage in the herring fishery. Once monitoring service providers are approved, we want to provide ample time for industry participants to make arrangements with service providers to secure at-sea monitoring coverage, and potentially observer coverage to access Northeast multispecies closed areas, for their vessels. Additionally, our training class for new monitors and observers in the herring fishery has been delayed in response to the Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic. For these reasons, we will not be selecting herring vessels for industry-funded monitoring coverage any earlier than June 15, 2020. This means that PTNS will issue waivers for industry-funded monitoring coverage until June, and herring vessels will not be responsible for paying sampling costs associated with industry-funded monitoring until June.

Exempted Fishing Permit

We developed an exempted fishing permit (EFP) to evaluate how to best administer an electronic monitoring (EM) and portside sampling program in the herring fishery.  This EFP would allow midwater trawl vessels issued Category A or B herring permits to use EM, coupled with portside sampling, instead of at-sea monitoring to satisfy their industry-funded monitoring requirements during 2020-2021. We published a notice announcing the EFP in the Federal Register on March 30, 2020, with a 15-day comment period ending April 14, 2020. In conjunction with the publication of the EFP, we requested that owners of midwater trawl vessels issued Category A or B herring permits notify us if they want to be considered for the EFP in 2020.  

More Information

We recognize that the timing of implementing industry-funded monitoring in the herring fishery may continue to evolve in response to COVID-19 pandemic and will update industry participants as appropriate.

  • Industry-funded monitoring in the herring fishery, see our January 29 bulletin.
  • Exempted Fishing Permit, see our March 30 email
  • Notification, Reporting, and Monitoring Requirements for the Atlantic Herring Fishery, see our March 31 bulletin.


Fishermen: Contact Carrie Nordeen, Sustainable Fisheries, 978-281-9272

Media: Contact Allison Ferreira, Regional Office, 978-281-9103