7/31/14 – REMINDER: SAFMC Public Hearing and Scoping Meetings Begin Next Week

For Immediate Release: July 30, 2014

Contact: Kim Iverson

kim.iverson@safmc.net


Reminder: Public Hearings and Scoping Meetings Scheduled in August for Proposed Federal Fisheries Management Measures

Written comments accepted until August 18, 2014

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is requesting public input on proposed management measures affecting the fishery management plans for snapper grouper, dolphin and wahoo, coastal migratory pelagics (includes king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia) and golden crab.  The public is encouraged to provide written comment and participate in upcoming public hearings scheduled from August 6-14, 2014 throughout the region on the proposed changes to management measures. (See the schedule for meetings below.) Council staff will be on hand to provide an overview of the proposed measures and available for informal discussions and to answer questions. Members of the public will have an opportunity to go on record to provide comments for consideration by the Council.  Local Council representatives will attend the meetings and listen to public comment.  The following measures are being considered:

For Public Hearing

 Generic Accountability Measures and Dolphin Allocation Amendment includes:

  • Modifications to accountability measures for some species in the snapper grouper management complex

  • Modifications to accountability measures for the commercial golden crab fishery

  • Modifications to the allocation between commercial and recreational sectors for dolphin (mahi-mahi)

 Snapper Grouper Amendment 32 proposes measures to end overfishing and rebuild the blueline tilefish stock, including:

  • Removing blueline tilefish from the Deepwater-Complex for management

  • Establishing an Acceptable Biological Catch, Optimum Yield, and other management parameters

  • Reducing the current Annual Catch Limit

  • Establishment of commercial trip limits and modifying recreational bag limits  

Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 20 addresses measures for snowy grouper, including:

  • Modifications to the rebuilding strategy

  • Proposed split seasons for the commercial fishery

  • Modifications to trip limits and changes to recreational bag limits  

Coastal Migratory Pelagics Framework Amendment 2 includes:

  • Modifications to Atlantic group Spanish mackerel trip limits for the "Southern Zone"

  • Note: an amendment previously approved by the Council would establish a Northern Zone and a Southern Zone at the NC/SC boundary, with separate commercial quotas for Atlantic group Spanish mackerel 

Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 7 and Snapper Grouper Amendment 33includes:

  • Proposed measures to allow recreational fishermen to bring fillets of dolphin and wahoo to be brought into the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) from The Bahamas

  • Updates to current regulations that allow recreational fishermen to bring fillets of species in the snapper grouper management unit from The Bahamas into the U.S. EEZ

For Public Scoping

Snapper Grouper Amendment 35 - Removal of four species from the snapper grouper management unit

Snapper Grouper Amendment 36 - Process to consider protection of spawning areas for snapper grouper species


What is Public Hearing and Scoping? 

Public scoping occurs at the beginning of the management process, providing the public an opportunity to comment on issues before the Council has decided to take any specific action. Using input received during the initial scoping process, the Council may then develop a Fishery Management Plan (FMP) or amendment to address these issues.  Amendments considered forpublic hearingsare further along in the management process and the Council is seeking public comment on specific management measures prior to the Council taking final action.

Learn More 

Summary documents, video presentations and other materials for the amendments are posted on the Public Hearing and Scoping Meeting page of the Council's website (safmc.net/cms).  Complete copies of the public hearing versions of the draft amendments are also available.

How to Get Involved

  • Submit Written Comment - Written comments will be accepted until 5:00 PM on August 18, 2014. Instructions for submitting comments, including email comments, are available from the website. 
  • Attend a Public Hearing or Scoping Meeting - See the schedule below.

SAFMC August 2014 Public Hearing Schedule -

NOTE: All meetings are from 4:00PM - 7:00PM

Wednesday, August 6

Bay Watch Conference Center

2701 S. Ocean Boulevard

N. Myrtle Beach, SC 29582

Phone: 843/272-4600

Tuesday, August 12

Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront

1550 N. Atlantic Avenue

Cocoa Beach, FL 32931

Phone: 321/799/0003

Thursday, August 7

Crystal Coast Civic Center

3505 Arendell Street

Morehead City, NC 28557

Phone: 843/272-4600

Wednesday, August 13

Wyndham Riverwalk

1515 Prudential Drive

Jacksonville, FL 32207

Phone: 904/396-5100

Monday, August 11

Key West Marriott Beachside

3841 N. Roosevelt Boulevard

Key West, FL 33040

Phone: 305/296-8100

Thursday, August 14

Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum

175 Bourne Avenue

Pooler, GA 31322

Phone: 912/748-8888