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:
- South Cape Lookout (5 square miles)(NC),
- Devil’s Hole/Georgetown Hole (3.1 square miles)(SC),
- Area 51 (2.99 square miles)(SC),
- Area 53 site (2.99 square miles)(SC), and
- 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
- Pre-Scoping: 2014
- Scoping: August 2014
- Public Hearing: April & August 2015
- Final Approval: March 2016
- Secretarial Review: September 2016
- Rule Making: Notice of Availability (1/5/17);
- Implementation: July 31, 2017