Ad-Hoc Data Collection Committee

Council creates new committee to deal specifi cally with data needs With the implementation of Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures the timeliness and accuracy in data reporting is more important than ever. Recognizing the need to address these issues, the Council has created an Ad-Hoc Data Collection Committee. The Committee, chaired by Dr. Michelle Duval, has received reports on data collection programs from state agencies, ACCSP, and NOAA Fisheries. The

South Atlantic Council Meeting

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will meet June 11-15, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  Meeting information, including the agenda for the week-long meeting, agendas and overviews for each committee meeting, and all briefing book materials are now available from the Council's website. 

Can't attend the meeting?  

Final Rule Amendment 18A Implementation

NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 18A to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 18A), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). This rule modifies the current system of accountability measures for black sea bass, limits effort in the black sea bass segment of the snapper-grouper fishery, and improves fisheries data in the for-hire sector of the snapper-grouper fishery. Amendment 18A also updates the rebuilding plan and modifies the acceptable biological catch (ABC) for black sea bass. This final rule is intended to reduce overcapacity in the black sea bass segment of the snapper-grouper fishery.

This rule is effective July 1, 2012.

2012 Recreational Closure for South Atlantic Golden Tilefish

NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for the recreational sector of golden tilefish in the South Atlantic for the 2012 fishing year through this temporary rule. Average recreational landings from 2010 and 2011 exceeded the recreational annual catch limit (ACL) for golden tilefish. To account for this overage and to prevent an overage in 2012, this rule reduces the length of the 2012 recreational fishing season and NMFS closes the recreational sector for golden tilefish on June 8, 2012. This closure is necessary to protect the golden tilefish resource.

This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, June 8, 2012, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2013.

South Atlantic Council & Advisory Meetings

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold 

meetings of its Ecosystem-Based Management Committee; Dolphin Wahoo 

Committee; Shrimp Committee; Snapper Grouper Committee; Ad Hoc Data 

Collection Committee; King and Spanish Mackerel Committee; Advisory 

Panel Selection Committee (Closed Session); Scientific and Statistical 

Selection Committee (Closed Session); Golden Crab Committee; Law 

Enforcement Committee; Southeast Data Assessment and Review (SEDAR) 

Committee; and a meeting of the Full Council. The Council will take 

action as necessary.   

Recreational Golden Tilefish in South Atlantic Closes

Recreational Harvest of Golden Tilefish in the South Atlantic Waters is Closing on June 8, 2012 Recreational harvest of golden tilefish in South Atlantic waters will close at 12:01 a.m. on June 8, 2012 due to 2010 and 2011 recreational landings exceeding the annual catch limit (ACL). The 2012 ACL is 1,578 fish. The recreational fishery will reopen on January 1, 2013.

South Atlantic DEIS to Assess Impacts

This NOI is intended to inform the public of the preparation of a DEIS in support of a comprehensive amendment to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) FMPs.

The NMFS intends to prepare a DEIS to assess impacts on the natural and human environment of management measures proposed in its draft Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 3 (CE-BA 3). CE-BA 3 would amend the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for: the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Snapper-Grouper FMP); Coral, Coral Reefs, Live/Hardbottom Habitats in the South Atlantic (Coral FMP); the FMP for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources (Coastal Migratory Pelagics FMP) in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery of the Atlantic (Dolphin Wahoo FMP); the Golden Crab Fishery of the Atlantic (Golden Crab FMP); the Shrimp Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Shrimp FMP); and Spiny Lobster in the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic (Spiny Lobster FMP).

Fishery Council Seeks Input on MPA Use for Species Protection

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold a second public workshop this week to solicit information regarding the use of marine protected areas (MPAs) to help protect speckled hind and warsaw grouper, two species currently listed as undergoing overfishing. The first workshop was held April 18, 2012 in North Charleston, SC and the second is scheduled for Wednesday, May 16, 2012 in Pooler, Georgia.  Three additional workshops may be scheduled for North Carolina and Florida later this year. 

NOAA Fisheries Service is Eliminating the 240-Foot (40-Fathom) Snapper Grouper Prohibition in the South Atlantic

Effective May 10, 2012

NOAA Fisheries Service is eliminating the 240-foot (40-fathom) snapper grouper prohibition in South Atlantic federal waters. The 240-foot prohibition, implemented on January 31, 2011, prohibited the possession of six deepwater snapper grouper species (snowy grouper, blueline tilefish, yellowedge grouper, misty grouper, queen snapper, and silk snapper).  

Note: Other regulations for these species remain in effect, e.g., the snowy grouper recreational bag limit remains at 1 per vessel/day.

90-Day Finding to List Speckled Hind as Threatened or Endangered


The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list speckled hind (Epinephelus drummondhayi) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We find that the petition does not present substantial scientific information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted.

The petition was filed by WildEarth Guardians to list goliath grouper, Nassau grouper, and speckled hind as threatened or endangered under the ESA.