Observer collecting electronic information on handheld computerObserver collecting electronic information on handheld computer. Credit: NE Observer Program, NEFSC / NOAA

Industry-Funded Scallop Program

The Industry Funded Scallop (IFS) Program was initiated by National Marine Fisheries Service Emergency Action in 2006 and permanently re-activated by Amendment 13 to the Scallop Fishery Management Plan in 2007.  The Scallop Fishery Management Plan is managed by the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) and NMFS.  Please see the NEFMC website and NMFS Greater Atlantic Region Office (GARFO) Announcements website for information on scallop related management actions.  Observer coverage is required in the scallop fishery (dredge and trawl gears) to monitor the bycatch of finfish, collect biological information to inform stock assessments, and to monitor any interactions of the scallop fishery with endangered or threatened species, such as sea turtles.  IFS Observers collect a full suite of fishery dependent data to document total catch, discards, biological samples, interactions with protected species, as well as a host of economic variables.  For more information about the program please see the Industry Funded Scallop Program Fact Sheet.

Information for Fishermen

Call in for a fishing trip 72 hours prior to planned sail date. Call (508) 495-2100, or see A Guide to Calling in for the Industry-Funded Scallop Program for details (note; PDFs will not open in the Chrome Browser). Include the following:

  • Gear type (dredge or trawl)
  • Specify limited access or general category
  • Area to be fished (NLCA, CAII, HCA, MA Open, GB Open, DMV, or CAI)
  • Your phone number
  • Your federal fishery permit number
  • Your name
  • Vessel name
  • Port and state of departure
  • Date you plan to sail

Information for Observers

Requirements for Observer Service Providers

For detailed information regarding the requirements for observer service providers, please see regulations 648.11(h) (Observer service provider approval and responsibilities) of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 648; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States. Summarized information includes contents of applications, application evaluation process, responsibilities of observer service providers, provider conflict of interest, and the process of removal if service providers do not meet the requirements provided. A summary of IFS provider requirements can also be found here.

The service providers listed below have been approved to supply Industry Funded Scallop services. Independent third-party monitoring of at-sea catch is required under existing fishery regulations. The service provider companies authorized include;

Reports and Monitoring

The reports below track observer coverage assignment, achieved coverage, and the desired target coverages rates for the Scallop Access and Open areas. Please note, the scallop year runs April-March.

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