WASHINGTON (CN) - Atlantic fishing boats in highly migratory species fisheries subject to vessel monitoring requirements must have an E-MTU vessel monitoring system installed by Jan. 1, 2013.
The Enhanced Mobile Transmitting Unit must be installed by a qualified marine electrician and must provide hail in/hail out declarations specifying target species, gear possessed onboard, and location and timing of landing,
Applicable vessels include those with pelagic longline gear on board, those with bottom longline gear on board near the mid-Atlantic closed area (between 33°N and 36°30" N) from Jan. 1 to July 31, and those with shark gillnet gear on board fishing between Nov. 15 and April 15.
The requirements originally were effective March 1, 2011, under a Dec. 2, 2011 final rule. However, in February 2012, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced that although, no new installations of MTUs were permitted, highly migratory species vessels could use either old MTUs or new E-MTUs without providing hail in/hail out declarations specifying target species, gear possessed onboard, and location and timing of landing. All installations of E-MTUs were required to be done by a qualified marine electrician, and vessels were to provide hourly position reports using VMS units starting two hours before leaving port and at all times away from port.
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