Amendments Open for Public Comment – due November 30, 2012

At the December 2012 Council meeting, four amendments to existing fishery management plans are scheduled for approval for submission to the Secretary of Commerce. If approved by the Council in December, the measures will be reviewed by NOAA Fisheries and the Secretary of Commerce before regulations are implemented in 2013. The Council will take public comment on December 6, 2012 during the December meeting before making final decisions. Written comments will be accepted until November 30, 2012 by 5 p.m.  Comments can be e-mailed, mailed or faxed. See below for details on submitting comments.

The following amendments are open for public comment. 

Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 13 - Changes to Harvest Levels Using Adjusted Recreational Data (MRIP)

Quick Overview: The Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) collects recreational fishing statistics and the program has implemented a new statistical method for calculating recreational catch estimates. The new methods have been used to recalculate recreational catch estimates dating back to 2004 and will be used for calculations going forward. Regulatory Amendment 13 uses new recreational values to revise the Acceptable Biological Catch, (ABC), Annual Catch Limits (ACL) allocations and Annual Catch Targets (ACT) for unassessed stocks. ACLs will also be updated in include revisions to commercial and for-hire landings.

Comments Due: November 30, 2012 by 5p.m. EST.

How to submit comments: Send email comments to, SGRegAmend13Comments@safmc.net.

Mail or fax written comments to the Council office at: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201 North Charleston, SC 29405; 843/769-4520 (fax)

For more detailed information: Read Summary Document - Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 13 (DRAFT summary document - updates will be posted as available)


Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 15 - Yellowtail Snapper and Gag Grouper/Shallow-water Grouper

Quick Overview: The regulatory amendment affects the yellowtail snapper fishery (commercial and recreational) and the commercial harvest of gag and other shallow-water grouper species. For yellowtail snapper, proposed actions include adjustments to the Acceptable Biological Catches (ABC), Annual Catch Limits (ACL) and Annual Catch Targets (ACT); modification of the fishing year and establishment of a commercial spawning season closure. For shallow-water grouper, proposed actions include modification of the requirement that all shallow-water grouper close when the ACL for gag grouper is met or projected to be met.

Comments Due: November 30, 2012 by 5 p.m EST.

How to submit comments: Send email comments to SGRegAmend15Comments@safmc.net.

Mail or fax written comments to the Council office at: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201 North Charleston, SC 29405; 843/769-4520 (fax)

For more detailed information: Read Summary Document - Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 15


Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 3 - Data Collection Improvements

Quick Overview: The amendment proposes measures to improve data collection methods in order to better verify dealer reports and help ensure annual catch limit overages do not occur in South Atlantic Fisheries. Proposed actions include: modify data reporting for for-hire vessels in the snapper grouper, coastal migratory pelagic, and dolphin/wahoo fisheries; modify data reporting for commercial vessels and bycatch and discard reporting for commercial, for-hire, and recreational vessels for snapper grouper, coastal migratory pelagic, dolphin/wahoo and golden crab fisheries; and require all commercial snapper grouper fishing vessels to be equipped with Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS).

Comments Due: November 30, 2012 by 5 p.m. EST.

How to submit comments: Send email comments to CEBA3Comments@safmc.net.

Mail or fax written comments to the Council office at: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201 North Charleston, SC 29405; 843/769-4520 (fax)

For more detailed information: Read Summary Document - CE-BA 3


Snapper Grouper Amendment 28 - Limited Red Snapper Harvest

Quick Overview: In September 2012, red snapper harvest was allowed for two consecutive weekends in the recreational sector and for a 7-day mini-season for the commercial sector. The 2012 season was opened under an Emergency Rule. So, currently there are no provisions in place that would allow harvest in 2013 and beyond. The amendment includes alternatives to calculate the red snapper ACL and establish a process for continuing to allow limited red snapper harvest in the future.

Comments Due: November 30, 2012 by 5 p.m. EST.

How to submit comments: Send email comments to SGAmend28Comments@safmc.net.

Mail or fax written comments to the Council office at: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201 North Charleston, SC 29405; 843/769-4520 (fax)

For more detailed information: Read Summary Document - Snapper Grouper Amendment 28


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