New VMS Requirements

Changes have been made within the U.S. Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Program that will affect many vessel owners. NMFS notified vessel owners by certified mail of these changes. SkyMate, Inc. did not submit a complete application for renewal of their bundled VMS products, and CLS America did not submit for renewal of their Thorium TST EMTU (type-approvals for the Thorium TST A2.0 and the Thorium LEO A2.0 are unaffected). As a result, these units will no longer be type-approved for compliance with vessel monitoring system (VMS) requirements in United States federal fisheries.

Affected vessel owners will be required to replace their VMS unit with another type approved VMS unit. To continue fishing in U.S. federal fisheries that require use of VMS, affected vessel owners must replace their affected units with a currently type-approved unit by September 30, 2015. The new type-approved VMS unit must be installed, operational, and registered with OLE by that time. Download the list of Current Type-approved VMS Units.

Reimbursement to replace the units will be allowed under the NOAA’s National VMS Reimbursement Program. For more info go to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission Reimbursement Program website at:

A quick summary of what to do can be found by downloading the following memorandum from PSMFC:    “September 30, 2015 CLS AMERICA TST and SKYMATE VMS Unit Replacement”.