Gulf of Mexico commercial reef fishermen may apply for reimbursement of the purchase price of a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). NOAA Fisheries Service is dispersing funds to vessel owners and/or operators who purchased a VMS in compliance with Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery regulations. Reimbursements will be made for the purchase price of the least expensive VMS approved for the Reef Fish Fishery ($3,095).
Vessel owners/operators may contact the Vessel Monitoring Support Center with NOAA Fisheries/Office of Law Enforcement at 888-219-9228 for an application and a compliance confirmation code. Fishermen should complete the application and collect their proof of eligibility. That includes a copy of the valid commercial reef fish permit, proof of purchase, including price, of the type-approved VMS, and a valid compliance confirmation code.
All paperwork should be sent to Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC), 205 SE Spokane Street, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97202; phone 503-595-3100. See the PSMFC site for additional useful information at www.psmfc.org.
Interested persons should apply as soon as possible. PSMFC requires about two weeks to process a complete and correct application.
For more information, contact the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board at 504-838-1170 or the NOAA Vessel Monitoring Support Center at 888-219-9228.