Snapper Grouper Amendment 36

Snapper Grouper Amendment 36

Proposed actions: The amendment contains actions to identify and protect spawning sites/aggregations for snapper grouper species and designate these areas as Spawning Special Management Zones (SMZs). Five areas were selected and include:

  1. South Cape Lookout (5 square miles)(NC),
  2. Devil’s Hole/Georgetown Hole (3.1 square miles)(SC),
  3. Area 51 (2.99 square miles)(SC),
  4. Area 53 site (2.99 square miles)(SC), and
  5. Warsaw Hole (4 square mile)(FL).

Other items in the amendment include,

  • Fishing for and/or possessing snapper grouper species in these Spawning SMZs will be prohibited.
  • Revision to the boundary of the Charleston Deep Reef MPA,
  • Measures to address transit and anchoring provisions within newly designated Spawning SMZs.
  • A 10-year sunset provision whereby the Spawning SMZs designation would be discontinued unless spawning were documented is included, and a framework provision to reauthorize the Spawning SMZs is also included.
  • The amendment includes a System Management Plan (SMP) to specify the outreach, law enforcement, and monitoring/research projects necessary to effectively monitor and evaluate the Spawning SMZs.

Amendment Status: Secretarial Approval

Final Amendment Submitted

Secretarial-Review

Council Process

  • Pre-Scoping:  2014
  • Scoping:  August 2014
  • Public Hearing:  April & August 2015
  • Final Approval:  March 2016

NMFS Process

  • Secretarial Review:  September 2016
  • Rule Making:  Notice of Availability (1/5/17);
  • Implementation:  July 31, 2017