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Food Fish & Crustacean Dealers and Shippers

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is considering the use of electronic reporting for purchases of marine food fish by holders of the Food Fish and Crustacean (FF&C) Dealers and Shippers License. Currently, FF&C Dealers and Shippers License holders are required to complete and submit a Purchases from Fishing Vessels and/or Fishermen report to DEC for each purchase of marine food fish from harvesters landing in New York. Electronic reporting would allow New York State FF&C dealers to enter purchase information online and eliminate the need to complete a paper form that would be mailed or faxed to DEC. DEC would incur savings from no longer printing, assembling and mailing dealer report logbooks to dealers and shippers. Staff would no longer be required to handle, process and store submitted purchase reports.

In August 2009 the Commercial Fisheries Unit in the Bureau of Marine Resources mailed a survey to all holders of the Food Fish and Crustacea Dealers and Shippers license.The survey was mailed to approximately 320 license holders. The following list summarizes the findings of the survey:

  • A few respondents were federally permitted dealers/shippers who would not be affected by a transition to electronic reporting. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) already requires federally permitted dealers to report electronically.
  • Seventy-one percent of the respondents have current access to the internet.
  • More than half were not familiar with the federal electronic reporting requirements for federal seafood dealers. Respondents who were familiar with the NMFS reporting requirements may be more receptive to NYS adopting electronic reporting.
  • The respondents were split 50-50 on whether electronic reporting would take less time than submitting reports on paper.
  • A few respondents are willing to participate in a pilot electronic reporting program in the fall. A small group of volunteers may be preferable for the pilot program, which involves training for both DEC staff and licensed seafood dealers/shippers.

DEC has been in contact withe the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program staff in preparing to introduce DEC staff and the voluntary FF&C dealers to electronic reporting. By working with ACCSP and state licensed dealers and shippers, DEC will be able to effect a smooth transition from paper reporting to paperless, electronic reporting.