If you own or operate a fishing or small passenger marine vessel, the FCC wants to remind you to upgrade your craft with VHF radiotelephone equipment with Digital Select Calling (DSC) capability by January 20, 2016.
DSC is a system designed to automatically contact other marine vessels and instantly send a formatted distress, safety or emergency alert for rescue. The system is approved for use internationally and is capable of ship-to-ship or ship-to-shore operation anywhere in the world.
According to the FCC, all fishing and small passenger marine vessels operating in "Sea Area A1 within twenty nautical miles seaward of the territorial baseline along the East, West, and Gulf coasts of the United States, excluding Alaska, and including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the United States, and the Northern Mariana Islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota... must upgrade to VHF-DSC equipment no later than January 20, 2016".
For details, read the official FCC public notice (pdf).