October 15, 2012 -- NOAA has released the following:
NOAA Fisheries announces that the software running on vessel monitoring system (VMS) units is being upgraded to comply with recent regulatory changes. Improvements have also been made that will make it easier for fishermen to use their VMS to report catch and fishing location information. For example:
1. For groundfish and monkfish fishermen, they simplified the format and menu to make it easier to declare fishing trips, and they separated sector and common pool declarations;
2. For scallop fishermen, they have added new access area choices; and,
3. For all fishermen, there are now five Declare Out of Fishery selections to choose from.
Over the next few weeks, VMS service providers will be sending software updates and instructions for installing this software. These software updates will be provided on disk (Skymate), a thumb drive (Thrane and Thrane) or over the air (Boatracs). Vessel operators are reminded to make sure that the vessel’s VMS unit has the new software loaded and that they begin using it for trips on or after November 1, 2012.
If there are any questions about the new VMS software or about Northeast VMS changes and requirements, please call (978) 281-9213 and ask for a VMS team member.