As part of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), The Billfish Foundation (TBF), in collaboration with Bluefin Data (BFD) is proud to officially announce we are award recipients of Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program. As a software company that simplifies the complicated and time-consuming reporting process for fishers, Bluefin Data and their reporting platform VESL have developed a streamlined solution to the current system of data reporting. As an optional add-on through VESL, HMS recreational and for-hire permitted vessels will have the ability to voluntarily report billfish data to TBF through their integrated data collections fields, which will help to expand our data collection program and lead to greater conservation efforts for billfish here in the US.
Titled, “Developing a Streamlined Highly Migratory Species Data Collection, Reporting, and Billfish Tagging Program in US East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean HMS Fisheries”, this electronic reporting (ER) project will implement and streamline the requirements of the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) recreational, East Coast, and Gulf of Mexico reporting programs while expanding upon TBF tagging data collection. Using VESL (an approved vendor for Southeast Regional Office’s (SERO) SEFHIER program, Southeast Regional Headboat Survey (SRHS), Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO), and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR)), vessels will have the opportunity to submit their data through one electronic form and have the data be automatically distributed to the appropriate sectors.
So in addition to lessening the burden of reporting requirements both federally and regionally, vessels will then be able to support critical conservation data collection programs within the same regulatory forms. Results of this project will be a singular form that satisfies the requirements of HMS and TBF and expands the tagging program into a sector likely to have billfish interactions.
We will continue to update you on the progress of this project in the coming months and how you can help to support our efforts.