Vessel Trip Reports
Submitting Fishing Trip Information
Fishermen file VTRs to detail the
species landed, amount landed,
gear used, and area fished.
The collection of fishery data from fishermen has become an important tool in marine resource management. DEC is now collecting fishery information from commercial fishermen and party/charter boat owners and operators. Here is some information that may help you in completing and submitting VTRs.
VTR assistance is available online. In the Important Links column to the right, there are several links to other information you may need:
- Tables and charts you will need for completing the VTR
- Step-by-step instructions for completing VTRs
- Commercial/For-hire Not Fishing Forms (choose either 2016 or 2017 form)
- Federal Reporting Confirmation Forms (choose either 2016 or 2017 form)
Who has to submit VTRs to DEC?
All food fishing, food fish landing, marine bait, menhaden purse seine, lobster, lobster landing, lobster bait gill net, crab, horseshoe crab, whelk, and party/charter boat permit holders must complete and submit to DEC an accurate fishing vessel trip report (VTR) for each fishing trip, detailing all fishing activities and all species landed.
If you hold a federal fishing permit issued by NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), you must instead satisfy the reporting requirements specified by NMFS. At times DEC will request, in writing, that a New York State license holder who also holds a federal fishing permit submit the State (blue) copy of the federal VTR to DEC. Under special permit reporting requirements, federal permit holders must submit a copy of their federal reports with commercial striped bass and horseshoe crab landings to DEC. It is unnecessary to submit copies of federal reports with landings other than striped bass or horseshoe crab to DEC. If you do hold a federal fishing permit and submit VTRs to NMFS, please complete the Federal Reporting Confirmation Form and submit it to DEC. We use that form to avoid sending state VTR correspondence to federally permitted fishermen.
How do I complete a VTR?
It is very important that VTRs be filled out accurately, completely and that they be signed. To assist you in completing the VTR, step-by-step instructions are included in each logbook and are available online (See the column to the right).
A different VTR must be submitted if there is any change in gear type, area fished, or mesh/ring size. Commercial fishing activities and party/charter fishing activities (party/charter fishing is recreational fishing for the passengers) must be submitted on separate VTRs.
When DEC staff comes upon blank or empty boxes on submitted VTRS, they must look to the fishermen for the missing answers. If a fisherman submits a VTR that is missing information, he or she will likely receive an email or telephone call from a DEC staff member looking for the missing information. VTRs that are missing a signature will be returned to the fisherman to be signed.
How do I submit my vessel trip report?
You may choose to submit your trip report on a paper Vessel Trip Report Form for New York State Permit Holders. These forms are available in logbooks or as refills at DEC Marine Resources office in East Setauket. They may be requested by phone at 631-444-0857 or 631-444-0473.
Please send completed trip reports to: ATTN: Trip Reports, 205 North Belle Mead Road, Suite 1, East Setauket, NY 11733. You may also fax your trip reports to 631-444-5628.
You may choose to submit your trip report online at the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program web site: www.accsp.org (link leaves DEC website.)
Call the Fisheries Data Management Unit at 631-444-0857 to set up a user account and password for online reporting.
When should I submit my VTRs?
VTRs must be submitted to DEC within 15 days after the end of each month. If no fishing trips were undertaken during an entire month, a VTR must be submitted to DEC stating no trips were made that month. Did Not Fish (DNF) reports or Not Fishing Forms may be submitted for future months if no fishing activities are anticipated into the future
What happens if I do not report?
Throughout the year, permit holders will receive postcards by mail notifying them of the month(s) that DEC did not receive VTRs or Not Fishing Forms. In the fall, when the DEC begins the permit renewal process, all permit holders who have not reported for three or more of the months that their permit has been issued, will not receive their permit renewal application in the mail. Instead, a letter will be sent that reminds them of each month(s) missing a report and notifies them to report immediately. The permit renewal applications will not be mailed or processed until the outstanding VTRs are filed with the DEC. If there is a continued disregard for reporting, legal action will be taken. New York State law authorizes the DEC to collect up to $250 in penalties for each failure to submit a VTR.
Why do we request fishermen to complete and submit VTRs?
Marine resource management agencies, such as DEC Bureau of Marine Resources and NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, collect, process, and store fisheries data collected from fishermen. The data collected from analyzing the landings of fishermen are referred to as fishery-dependent data. The data are used for quota management, fishery stock assessments, protected species management and economic analyses and are often shared with other resource management agencies and researchers. The collection and processing of fishery-dependent data are vital components in the development of fisheries management strategies.
Complete and accurate data are required for the development of good fisheries management decisions.