Social & Economic Sub-Panel Meeting

The SAFMC will hold a meeting of its Social and Economic Sciences Sub-Panel (SEP) to review and discuss the following items: Fishery Management Plan (FMP) amendments under development and allocation approaches. The meeting will be held in North Charleston, SC.

SSC Meeting

The SAFMC will hold a meeting of its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) to review and discuss the following items: 

Fishery Management Plan (FMP) amendments under development; stock assessment benchmarks and updates; and planning for 2013 stock assessments. The meeting will be held in North Charleston, SC.

South Atlantic September Council Meeting Report

Managers Focus on Data Collection Needs to Better Track Annual Catch Limits

Members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council heard from fishermen from North Carolina to the Florida Keys about the impacts of recent fishery closures during the Council meeting last week in Charleston, South Carolina.  Commercial fishermen from the Florida Keys shared concerns about the yellowtail snapper fishery, recreational anglers spoke about shortened seasons for black sea bass, and commercial golden tilefish fishermen were frustrated at the delay in reopening their fishery after an updated assessment shows the ACL may be increased.  Everyone was in agreement, both managers and fishermen, that improvements must be made in data collection and tracking of annual catch limits for species managed by the Council.  Annual catch limits, or ACLs, are the numbers or pounds of fish that can be harvested each fishing year and are required under the reauthorized Magnuson-Stevens Act in order to prevent overfishing.  In some cases, the ACLs have led to shortened fishing seasons for both commercial and recreational fishermen, leading to questions regarding data collection practices and the current methods used to track ACLs. NOAA Fisheries Service is the agency responsible for tracking ACLs and subsequent fishery closures once the ACLs have been met. The Council approved an amendment to improve data collection from seafood dealers and continues to work on specific management measures to better track ACLs.  

Assessment Process Webinars for Caribbean Blue Tang and Queen Triggerfish

The SEDAR 30 assessments of the Caribbean blue tang and queen triggerfish will consist of a series of workshops and webinars. This notice is for a webinar associated with the Assessment portion of the SEDAR process. 

The SEDAR 30 pre-assessment webinar will be held October 4, 2012 from 1 p.m. to approximately 3 p.m. Eastern time. The established times may be adjusted as necessary to accommodate the timely completion of discussion relevant to the assessment process. Such adjustments may result in the meeting being extended from, or completed prior to, the time established by this notice.

South Atlantic Red Snapper

Temporary Rule To Establish Management Measures for the Limited Harvest and Possession of South Atlantic Red Snapper in 2012

NMFS issues this final temporary rule to establish management measures to allow for the limited harvest and possession of red snapper in or from the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in 2012, as requested by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). 

Greater Amberjack, Mutton Snapper, Gray Triggerfish and More...

Regulatory Amendment 14 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan In June, the Council began discussion of possible management measures for five species in the snapper grouper management unit. An options paper will be reviewed during the September meeting.Possible Actions in Regulatory Amendment 14:

King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, and Cobia Amendments

Actions for King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, and Cobia Amendments 19 and 20 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan Working jointly with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, a broad range of management alternatives are being considered in the two amendments.

Actions address:

Marine Protected Area Workshops Completed in August

Council will consider use of MPAs for speckled hind and warsaw grouper

A series of Marine Protected Area Workshops continued in August in conjunction with public hearings held in North Carolina and Florida. The Council decided during its June meeting to continue to solicit public input on the possible use of MPAs to help reduce bycatch of speckled hind and warsaw grouper. Members of the public were asked to provide information on occurrence of the two species, associated habitats, and possible spawning locations.

Closure Date for the Harvest of South Atlantic Recreational Black Sea Bass

NOAA Fisheries Service has determined that the 2012-2013 recreational annual catch limit of 409,000 pounds for black sea bass has been reached.  As a result, the recreational sector for black sea bass in federal waters of the South Atlantic from the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, North Carolina to Key West, Florida, will close effective 12:01 a.m. (local time) September 4, 2012, through 12:01 a.m. June 1, 2013.

South Atlantic Meetings Start September 10

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold meetings of its: Ecosystem-Based Management Committee; Shrimp Committee; Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) Committee; Snapper Grouper Committee; Ad Hoc Data Collection Committee; King and Spanish Mackerel Committee; Advisory Panel Selection Committee (closed session); Golden Crab Committee; Executive Finance Committee; and a meeting of the Full Council. The Council will take action as necessary.