charter fisherman's Association

It is our mission to ensure American public access to fishing, to engage and represent
the Charter for Hire industry, and to ensure long-term sustainability of our fisheries.

CFA Newsroom

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  • 10 Sep 2020 1:11 PM | Gary Jarvis (Administrator)

    Dr. Roy Crabtree

    Regional Administrator

    National Marine Fisheries Service

    9721 Executive Center Drive North

    St. Petersburg, FL 33702



            Hope all is well and look forward to the days when we can all get together under more normal circumstances. The board of Directors here at the Charter Fisherman’s Association have instructed me to reach out to SERO, the NMFS and Gulf Council Chairman to get some crucial information on the status and implementation of the SEFHIER program. I am also tasked in this letter with letting all those involved in the development and implementation with SEFHIER to share our concerns that we may have once we get a clearer picture of what the final product is going to look like. As I write this letter, I realize the challenges of implementing an Industry led self-reporting data program that had never been done before. Our Board members and I have participated in numerous ELB pilot programs including a rights-based management EFP that had such a system. With that experience we are aware of the challenges the SEFHIER program has and will face as this moves forward. And although as a organization, we have worked tirelessly to get a ELB system on our fleet vessels, we know that the delays have been frustrating for us and those of you in the agency. And now, to exasperate the situation and most likely add to further delays all of us have had to change our daily lives and ability to go to work and preform our duties due to the Covis-19 pandemic. This present shelter at home /work at home and no face to face meetings has put us all at a disadvantage on being able to communicate freely on this program. So, for us at CFA we have taken a position of patient and to do our due diligence by continuing to work with you on the SEFHIER program that will lead to good results once this system is in place.

    With this letter I am including a copy of the summary reports that stemmed from the many workshops that were held to get industry input , questions, concerns and solutions offered to create a well-supported, enforceable and successful electronic self-reporting system for the charter for hire industry. Also attached is the 2019 power point presentation we all got that was approved and sanctioned by the agency to share with all the stakeholders at those workshops. The concerns we are having is what has become of the information presented on slides 16 thru 20 of the presentation and will be the basis of my questions.

    Based on slide 16 has any of this changed? If yes how? And if yes why?

    Slide 16

    •        An account must be set-up with Atlantic States Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP)
    •        Reports can be made using a tablet or mobile phone app
    •        Reports can also be made using VMS

    Approved app/VMS vendors will be listed on the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Electronic Technologies website:

    Next Question is based on slides 17,18   where in that presentations and the assumptions we had was that our industry would have a choice of two types of vessel monitoring and electronic reporting. Are there two options and cost associated with those options still available? If not, why? And if that is no longer true, how do you plan on addressing the lack of options or capabilities of a single system due to the unique aspects of the CFH industry both in vessel type and geographical challenges when it comes to data transfer? As you can see if you review the workshop summaries there are some who will favor the VMS based technology verse the GPS data logger cell phone reporting application. Either way for industry buy in which is crucial for compliance, accuracy in the self-reported data and for this system to be exceptional these 2 options are an absolute must.

    Expected to be approved for Gulf of Mexico permit holders/slide 17

    eTRIPS/mobile (ACCSP)

           a tablet-based program

           a mobile phone-based program is expected to launch March 2019

           Hail-out capability will be added in March 2019

           Requires internet connection

           24/7 helpdesk

           VESL (Bluefin Data)

    VMS Expected to be approved for Gulf of Mexico permit holders:

    Federal Permit Holders Must /slide 18

           Have NMFS approved hardware/software with GPS capabilities that is permanently affixed to the vessel and that, at a minimum, archives vessel position data and transmits it to NMFS

           Pings once per hour

           VMS will meet the requirements (vendors must be approved for for-hire program)

           Southeast Fisheries Science Center is testing 7 archival GPS units

           Results will be available in June/July

           NMFS will begin review and approval process

           Types of Units       Solar or Powered by the vessel

           Range of cost Unit: $150-800      Monthly: $10-40

    So, in closing I hope that you and your staff can give us the status of these concerns, be able to give us a update on the next expected stage of development.  I think as we get  closer to the implementation of SEFHIER into the CFH sector that we work to improve our level of communication with the SEFHIER program directors and developers to assist us and them in clearing up any confusion among our membership and industry across the board. CFA since we introduced sector separation in Aug of 2008 has been the Bell cow for higher levels of accountability in the CFH sector and one of the key corner stones of that plan was verifiable self-report catch effort and landings recorded before unloading our catch using electronic log books. The technology available now verses then has increased in unmeasurable bounds. Our efforts to continue to support and push for better data collection and the science that it will enhance remains high on our mission statement list. I look forward to your response to our concerns and a better level of communication on our part to be part of a solutions-based team involving the NMFS, SERO, gulf council and Charter fisherman’s Association.

    Captain Gary Jarvis

    Executive Director

    Charter fisherman’s Association




  • 08 Sep 2020 12:27 PM | Gary Jarvis (Administrator)

    Well the summer grind has come to a end, fishing is still great, but a short reprieve until fall fishing picks up is much needed .So I am sending this out to remind every federal permit holder in the Gulf that we need your support as we go into the fall management cycle with a big list of things CFA is going to do to improve your profits, access to our important fisheries and value to your business. A annual professional CFA membership is $100 for the next 12 month. The actions of our organization in the PAST AND IN THE FUTURE WILL BRING YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS each year as we forge on to improve our industry. To be effective and provide needed expenditures to manage our organization we need your membership , voice and financial support. Please click on Join CFA and sign up today

  • 25 Mar 2020 1:12 PM | Gary Jarvis


    I have had clarification that your crew count as employees even if they are 1099 sub contractors just send the 10-99's in with you application

    Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the activation of the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local business operations. The survey, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement appropriate relief programs can begin.


    I encourage you to register and take the Business Damage Assessment Survey online here.  Results from this survey will be shared with state agencies and local partners. Surveys submitted by small businesses can be used to access the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan, made available for COVID-19 through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. For inquiries or assistance with the survey, businesses can contact Emergency Support Function 18 at

  • 25 Mar 2020 1:03 PM | Gary Jarvis

    The communities along the gulf coast. Part of that work is to try and get some antidotal information from all of you to share with congressional leaders and help formulate our plea for assistance. I know you have seen a same request from NACO and perhaps from your own local fleet organization. I encourage you to respond to all of those requests. All of us are working towards the same goal and CFA plans to work side by side with other local and national organizations so to strengthen our voice. So please to the best of your ability fill out these 9 questions and email us back at All propriety information will be held in confidence and only the compilations of total responses will be made public.

    Capt. Gary Jarvis

    Executive Director CFA




    Home Port


    1) Year to date are you up or down in gross income over 2019? 

    2) What percentage are you up or down?


    3 How are your advance booking compared to this time 2019 and what would say that percentage change is up or down?


    4) Have your local municipality made decisions to close tourism off? 


    5) How long can you reasonably stay in business due to no travel or local or state stay at home orders? Estimate how many Weeks or Months?


    6) What will be your first financial crisis and when will that most likely take place?


    7) What would it take for you to remain viable to be in business in 2021 in case this situation lasts for 2 months or more. 


    8) If you are Captain but not the owner what are your losses year to date, and do you think your owner will be able to maintain your employment? Hoe long before you need to find another line of work?


    9) If you’re a mate or deckhand what is your personal financial outlook in 2020 and how long will you be able to remain in the industry before you have to find another line of work?


  • 21 Feb 2020 12:31 PM | Gary Jarvis

    2020 CFA board of directors will hold officers elections today with announcements of the new officers being released Feb 22 

  • 21 Feb 2020 12:27 PM | Gary Jarvis

    CFA is proud to announce the 2020 board of directors 

    Greg Ball Tx

    Scott Hickman Tx

    Mike Jennings Tx

    Steve Tomeny La

    Clarence Seymore Ms

    Gary Bryant Al 

    Bobby Kelly Al

    Jim Green Fl

    Billy Archer Fl

    Dylan Hubbard Fl

  • 31 Jan 2020 2:00 PM | Gary Jarvis

    Due to CFA by-laws nominations for Board of Directors and Officers require a 14 day notice period. The notice sent out last week before our annual meeting didn't have a long enough notice period. So nominations are back open to members in good standing.To be in good standing you must be a CFA member so memberships fees of $100 must be paid ( all DCBA members are paid up thru Oct 2020 and are in good standing). To join CFA go to  Nominations for board or committee members are open Feb 1st thru Feb 14th. Voting will take place Feb 15th and results will be posted here soon thereafter. They can be sent to Capt Gary Jarvis Ex Director CFA at

  • 05 Jan 2016 2:50 PM | Anonymous

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 5, 2016

    MEDIA CONTACT: Executive Director, Capt. Shane Cantrell, 512.639.9188

     Statement by the Charter Fishermen’s Association, Executive Director, Capt. Shane Cantrell on the federal court ruling to uphold separate red snapper catch limits for charter fishermen and private anglers:

    “This decision is a major win for hundreds of thousands of recreational anglers who love to fish for red snapper but aren’t fortunate enough to own their own boat.

    Sector separation is an important step in ending the downward spiral of shrinking fishing seasons that have limited fishing opportunities for recreational fishermen and strangled small charter fishing businesses for too long.

    “The Charter Fisherman’s Association looks forward to working with federal regulators to design a management plan that expands access to Gulf red snapper, improves data collection and ensures that the fishery continues to make progress on the road to recovery.”

    Statement by the Charter Fishermen’s Association, President, Capt. Mike Jennings on the federal court ruling to uphold separate red snapper catch limits for charter fishermen and private anglers:

    "I am pleased at the decision by Judge Milazzo and we are looking forward to now being able to focus on a sustainable fishery management plan for all recreational fishermen."


    The Charter Fishermen’s Association is trade association of charter and head boat fishermen who operate in the Gulf of Mexico. The for-hire fishing sector provides access to millions of recreational fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico every year.


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