An online reporting system will now be available for highly migratory species (HMS) fishing tournaments in the Atlantic Ocean, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced this week.
HMS tournament operators are required to register with NMFS whether targeting sharks, tunas, billfish, or swordfish. The tournaments must also keep records of anglers and the results, and may be required to send a catch report at the end of the event. All billfish tournaments are required to send the catch report.
Reporting is important for the management of the involved species as it helps to characterize a portion of the recreational fishing effort on the stocks, including the details of general location and targeted species. It also provides catch and landings data that are used in stock assessments and to update landings for national and international quota limits.
NMFS is now offering an online system through which tournaments can send these reports. Prior options included traditional mail, email, and fax. The online registration and reporting system also sends email confirmation when NMFS has reviewed an application or information and determined it is complete.
More on Atlantic HMS tournaments here.