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Reminders Regarding the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Programs in the Gulf of Mexico

Recent and Proposed Actions to Note

NOAA Fisheries approved Amendment 28 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Amendment 28) submitted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.  Amendment 28 changed the red snapper commercial quota from 51% to 48.5% of the total allowable catch.  As a result, the commercial quota was reduced and allocation was held back. 

Additionally, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has submitted a framework amendment to modify red grouper allowable harvest.  If implemented, the 2016 (and subsequent fishing years) commercial red grouper quota will be 7,780,000 lb gutted weight.  If the framework is implemented in 2016, the increased allocation will be proportionately distributed on or near the effective date.  If implemented, the allocation will only be distributed as red grouper allocation, not red grouper multi-use allocation.

Transferring Allocation to Another Shareholder’s Vessel Account

When transferring allocation to another shareholder’s vessel account, use the vessel’s Coast Guard documentation or state registration number in the search box.  Many vessels have similar names and this will ensure the transferor selects the correct vessel.

Accept Share Transfers

Please remember that a share transfer is a two-step process requiring the transferor to initiate the transaction and the transferee to complete the transaction.  The transferee completes the transaction by accepting the share transfer under the Receive Transferred Shares view.  A share transfer transaction that has not been accepted by the transferee (e.g., pending status) after 30 days from the date the transfer was initiated will be cancelled.  If the share transfer is still preferred, the transferor will have to restart the share transfer process.  

Pre-Landing Notifications

As a reminder, if you do not have IFQ fish onboard, you do not need to make a pre-landing notification (“hail-in”).  Only trips with IFQ species onboard must provide at least 3 hours, but no more than 24 hours, notice of landing.

When using the 24/7 call service to report your pre-landing notification, please provide your vessel’s Coast Guard documentation or state registration number.  This will ensure the pre-landing notification is given for the correct vessel instead of another vessel with a similar name.

VMS Troubleshooting

If your VMS unit is not positioning turn power off, then repower unit.  This may clear any internal errors and restart unit positioning.  If you still experience non-reporting, contact your VMS vendor directly:

McMurdo/Boatracs: 800-262-8722

Network Innovations: 888-664-6727

Faria Beede Instruments: 860-848-6600

Skymate: 866-759-6283

CLS America: 301-925-4411

For more VMS troubleshooting, please review the Frequently Asked Questions on the IFQ Homepage.  To contact the Southeast Regional Office VMS Support, call (800) 758-4833.

IFQ Accounts and Gulf of Mexico Commercial Reef Fish Permits

An IFQ account must be related to a valid Gulf of Mexico commercial reef fish permit to harvest IFQ species.  The same name(s) must be on both the IFQ account and Gulf of Mexico reef fish permit.  Any changes to the name(s) on a permit (e.g., adding or removing a spouse or partner) will separate the permit from the IFQ account.  You must then establish a new IFQ account based on the names on the permit by calling Catch Share Support at 866-425-7627 (Option 2).  Please allow adequate time to establish an IFQ account, as it may take a few days for the new account UserID and PIN to be mailed to you.  For additional information about IFQ accounts and Gulf of Mexico commercial reef fish permits, please review the Frequently Asked Questions on the IFQ Homepage.

Please Send Your Feedback

As the online system continues to change, please provide your suggested changes and additions by e-mail to, or call Catch Share Support at 866-425-7627 (Option 2) Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., EST, excluding federal holidays.  We will review the suggested changes and if possible, incorporate your suggestions into the program.

This bulletin provides only a summary of the information regarding the existing regulations.  Any discrepancies between this bulletin and the regulations as published in the Federal Register will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register.