Reminders Regarding the Gulf of Mexico Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program
NOAA Southeast Fishery Bulletin
Landing Notification Requirements
Advanced notification of landing is required for all vessels landing IFQ species. Fishers must report the time and location of landing, estimated landings of IFQ species in pounds gutted weight, vessel name and identification number, and the name of the IFQ dealer where IFQ species are to be received. Notices must be provided at least 3 hours, but no more than 12 hours prior to landing.
IFQ Online Account Applications
As of January 1, 2012, all IFQ account holders in the red snapper and grouper-tilefish IFQ programs are required to submit an online account application. This application is required every two years and must be completed regardless of whether or not a shareholder holds a valid federal reef fish permit. This information is required to ensure participants meet the requirements of the program, provide an address to receive mail regarding the program, and to ensure no single entity in the program acquires an excessive amount of shares. Beginning April 16, 2012, IFQ account holders who have not completed an online account application will be unable to access their online account. The application form can be downloaded from the IFQ homepage.
To determine if your account application has been received and processed, log in to your account, select My Account, then select Account Status. The status of your account (e.g., valid) and the date your application was received and processed will be listed in the table at the bottom of the page.
Last year, NOAA Fisheries Service published a rule modifying the definition for actual ex-vessel price. Actual ex-vessel price is the total monetary sale amount a fisherman receives per pound of fish for IFQ landings from a registered IFQ dealer before any deductions are made for transferred (leased) allocation and goods and services (e.g. bait, ice, fuel, repairs, machinery replacement, etc.) (50 CFR § 622.2).
For example, if a fisherman leases 500 pounds of red snapper from another fisherman for $3.00 per pound, then later lands and sells those fish to a dealer for $4.50 per pound, the actual ex-vessel price reported per pound should be $4.50 per pound and not $1.50 per pound. Similarly, trip costs (i.e., ice, fuel, bait, etc) to harvest the 500 pounds of red snapper should not be subtracted from the price paid when calculating the actual ex-value price. For example, if a fisherman is paid $4.50 per pound of fish and trip costs total $1.50 per pound of fish, then the actual ex-vessel price reported should be $4.50 per pound and not $3.00 per pound.
Retaining Recreational Catch on a Commercial Trip
A person aboard a vessel that has a federal Gulf reef fish commercial permit and commercial quantities of Gulf reef fish may not possess Gulf reef fish caught under a bag limit. IFQ species harvested aboard a vessel that has a valid commercial permit for Gulf reef fish may be sold only to a dealer who has a valid permit for Gulf reef fish and an IFQ dealer endorsement.
Proposed Red Snapper Quota Increase
The Gulf Council has approved a 25 percent increase in the red snapper quota for 2012 to 3.71 million pounds gutted weight (4.121 million pounds whole weight). The new commercial quota will be implemented this summer. Allocation will be proportionally distributed into shareholder accounts based on shares held at the time of the distribution. Shareholders must transfer the allocation into their vessel accounts for harvest.
If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail SER-IFQ.Support@noaa.gov, or call IFQ Support at 1-866-425-7627 (Option 2) Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Eastern Time, excluding federal holidays.