GPS tracking rule dropped due to financial and privacy costs

The federal government’s GPS tracking requirement for charter boats was promulgated in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act and likely violates the Fourth Amendment, a federal appeals court ruled.

The rule requires charter boat operators to install, at their own expense, monitoring systems using GPS technology to report their vessel’s location data, and also requires them to submit catch reports after each trip. It was issued under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, a law designed to manage the country’s offshore fisheries resources.

The Mexican Gulf Fishing Company, A&B Charters Inc. and other companies argued on appeal that the…

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