NOAA Fisheries recently implemented new permitting and reporting requirements for recreational tilefish fishermen. All recreational vessel operators (including for-hire operators using their vessels on recreational trips) targeting or retaining golden or blueline tilefish from Virginia to Maine are now required to obtain a free permit from NOAA Fisheries and submit electronic vessel trip reports (eVTRs) within 24 hours of returning to port.
A new app has been released to make the reporting process easy and convenient. Harbor Light Software’s eFin Logbook has received certification from NOAA Fisheries as an approved application through which anglers can report their trips. Funded by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, eFin Logbook is a user-friendly application designed specifically for recreational tilefish anglers. The app is available for use on all Apple and Android mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Android phone, and Android tablet).
“During our initial outreach efforts, many anglers told us that the existing NOAA-approved reporting systems were too complicated for recreational reporting,” said Mid-Atlantic Council Executive Director Chris Moore. “Recreational stakeholders are generally supportive of the need for improved data collection on tilefish but have stressed the need for a simpler, more user-friendly interface. In response to this feedback, we collaborated with Harbor Light Software on the development of eFin Logbook, the first NOAA-approved electronic reporting system designed specifically for recreational fishermen.”
At present, eFin Logbook can only be used by tilefish recreational anglers to satisfy reporting requirements. Future modifications may expand its capabilities to other reporting and personal fishing log applications. For-hire operators, many of whom have other reporting requirements, are encouraged to choose different software.
To learn more about other electronic reporting options and decide which one is right for you, visit www.fisheries.noaa.gov/new-england-mid-atlantic/resources-fishing/vessel-trip-reporting-greater-atlantic-region.