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Maggie Mooney-Seus or Teri Frady
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June 30, 2011
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Gloucester, MA 01930-2276

Groundfish Industry in Northeast Now Has Option to Report Trip Data Electronically

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Atlantic cod in basket on deck
Atlantic cod, an historcially important Northeastern groundfish Credit: NOAA

Owners or operators of commercial groundfish vessels with federal permits will now have the option to voluntarily submit their vessel trip reports, or VTRs, for each fishing trip to NOAA electronically beginning in July. 

“We want to make it easier for anyone interested to submit their data electronically instead of on paper,” said Patricia Kurkul, regional administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service.  “Electronic reporting is an example of improving the quality and timeliness of industry-generated data so critical to managing the fishery, a recommendation of our recent management review, as well as something in which the fleet has been increasingly interested.”

Vessel trip reports are required in many fisheries, including groundfish, to provide information on when and where catch occurred.  Among other uses, these logs provide a link between the catch and the fish stock from which it came, critical for good stock assessments.

Electronic reporting will make the collection of important data on fishing vessel activity more efficient, convenient and timely for the fishing industry, fishery managers, and other data users.  Vessel trip reports will be encrypted prior to transmission to maintain the confidentiality of data being transmitted.

Vessel permit holders can already view up to twelve months of trip reports online.

Vessel trip reports do not have to be submitted electronically, it is merely an option for fishing vessels that have the capacity and are seeking an alternative to paper reporting. Over the next several months, the agency will work with interested members of the fishing industry to expand the use of electronic vessel trip reporting throughout the groundfish and other fisheries.

NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nationís living marine resources and their habitat through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries Service provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public.

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