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Vessel Trip Reports

Submitting Fishing Trip Information

A basket full of fish
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 and charter boat owner 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 Not Fishing Forms (choose either 2013 or 2014 form)
  • Federal Reporting Confirmation Forms (choose either 2013 or 2014 form)

Who has to submit VTRs to DEC?

All food fishing, food fish landing, marine bait, lobster, lobster landing, lobster bait gill net, crab, horseshoe crab, and party and 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. 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 and completely and 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 and charter fishing activities (party and 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 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 631-444-5621.
You may choose to submit your trip report online at the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program web site: www.accsp.org. Call DEC Marine Resources to set up an account and password.

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 submitted to DEC stating no trips were made that month (Did Not Fish report, negative report). Did Not Fish reports or Commercial Not Fishing Forms may be submitted for future months if no fishing activities are anticipated into the future.

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.