Division of Marine Fisheries Trip Ticket Program
From 1978 -1993, North Carolina commercial fisheries landings statistics were collected on a voluntary basis through the National Marine Fisheries Service/North Carolina Cooperative Statistics Program. The growing need for more detailed and timely harvest data led the N.C. General Assembly to mandate trip-level reporting of commercial fisheries landings for all state-licensed fish dealers in 1994.
Since that time, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Trip Ticket Program has grown into one of the leading fisheries data collection programs in the country. In fact, many other states have modeled their trip ticket systems after the North Carolina program.
What is a Trip Ticket?
A trip ticket is the form used by fish dealers to report commercial landings information. Trip tickets collect information about the fisherman, the dealer purchasing the product, the transaction date, the number of crew, area fished, gear used and the quantity of each species landed for each trip. Some trip tickets also collect the species of shrimp landed and disposition (heads on/off), the state of catch, bottom type (public or leased) and lease number. Each month, dealers are required to send these forms to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries for processing. Data gathered from trip tickets help fisheries managers and the commercial fishing industry ensure North Carolina's marine resources remain well-managed and abundant.
The division is continually striving to improve the timeliness and accuracy of the program. Since its inception, the following program changes have been made:
- A new database has been developed to house trip ticket and license program information, allowing fisheries managers to link to harvest and license data.
- Fishermen can also submit their trip tickets electronically.
- Research is being conducted on linking metadata (data about data; i.e. weather events, economic conditions) and commercial fisheries harvest, to help analyze fisheries trends.
- Staff upload the state’s commercial harvest statistics to the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program on a quarterly basis, for more efficient management of coast-wide, migratory species
- The North Carolina Trip Ticket Program publishes a semiannual newsletter for fish dealers, along with six-month and annual landings bulletins.
- The North Carolina Trip Ticket Program is conducting research to verify and update conversion factors used to estimate whole weight from pre-processed landings (eg. fish landed in gutted conditions).
- The North Carolina Trip Ticket Program updates the commercial landings data in the Annual License and Statistics Report
The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries' goal is to make reporting as simple as possible. Fishing industry support and assistance is critical to the success of the program. We welcome any suggestions for improvement. Contact us.
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