Public Hearings Scheduled for Snapper Grouper Management

SAFMC logo South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
News Release  
October 24, 2007

CONTACT: Kim Iverson Public Information Officer (843) 571-4366

Public Hearings Scheduled for Snapper Grouper Management

Amendments address rebuilding for three snapper grouper species, recreational sale, allocations, bycatch, and other issues 

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold a series of public hearings beginning in November to solicit public comment on two amendments to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan for the South Atlantic. Amendment 15A addresses rebuilding of snowy grouper, black sea bass, and red porgy stocks. Amendment 15B contains actions to prohibit the sale of recreationally-caught snapper grouper species, reduce the effects of incidental hooking on sea turtles and smalltooth sawfish, change the commercial permit renewal period and transferability requirements, implement a plan to monitor and assess bycatch, and establish management reference points, such as Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) and Optimum Yield (OY) for golden tilefish. Amendment 15B will also establish allocations between commercial and recreational fishermen for snowy grouper and red porgy.
Stocks of snowy grouper, black sea bass and red porgy have been identified as overfished by the Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) stock assessment process. In response, the Council is developing Amendment 15A to establish rebuilding plans for these three economically important species in the snapper grouper management complex. Over the years 2001 – 2005, snowy grouper, red porgy, and black sea bass represented an average of 21% of the total annual commercial landings of snapper grouper in the South Atlantic valued at $7.73 million dollars. Regulations were implemented in October 2006 to end overfishing for snowy grouper and black sea bass, and allow for a moderate increase in the harvest of red porgy. These factors will be considered in the rebuilding plans.
Through Amendment 15B, the Council is considering options to prohibit the sale of recreationally caught snapper and grouper. Recent restrictions on commercial quotas have raised concerns that these recreationally harvested fish are being included in the commercial landings, and fish may be double counted with current recreational reporting methods. Allocations for snowy grouper and red porgy are also being addressed in Amendment 15B in order to establish commercial quotas and recreational allocations. A complete listing of all actions is contained in each amendment.
Written comments for Amendments15A are being accepted by the Council until 5:00 pm, December 3, 2007. Written comments for 15B are due by 5:00 p.m. on January 11, 2008. Copies of the Public Hearing Documents may also be obtained from the Council office. Comments should be addressed to: Bob Mahood, Executive Director, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, Charleston, SC 29405. Email Amendment 15A comments to: SG15A@safmc.net and comments for Amendment 15B to: SG15B@safmc.net.

Document Copies

Copies of the Public Hearing Documents, Public Hearing Summaries, and other documents available for public comment can be found in the Public Comments Section of the Library.

SNAPPER GROUPER AMENDMENTS 15A/15B PUBLIC
PUBLIC HEARING SCHEDULE (Download PDF)

Hearings Begin at 6:00 p.m. except for 12/3/07*
November 13, 2007
Sombrero Cay Club
19 Sombrero Boulevard
Marathon, FL 33050
Phone: 305-743-2250
November 14, 2007
Sheraton Yankee Clipper Hotel
1140 Seabreeze Boulevard (A1A)
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Phone: 954-524-5551
November 15, 2007
Radisson Resort at the Port
8701 Astronaut Boulevard
Cape Canaveral, FL 32920
Phone: 321-784-0000
November 16, 2007
Comfort Inn Oceanfront
1515 North 1st Street
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
Phone: 904-241-2311
November 27, 2007
Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum
175 Bourne Avenue
Pooler, GA 31322
Phone: 912-748-8888
November 28, 2007
Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Airport
5265 International Boulevard
North Charleston, SC 29418
Phone: 843-308-9330
November 28, 2007
Avista Resort
300 N. Ocean Boulevard
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
Phone: 843-249-2521
November 29, 2007
Shell Island Resort
2700 Lumina Avenue
Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480
Phone: 910-256-0418
November 30, 2007
NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island
374 Airport Road
Manteo, NC 27954
Phone: 252-473-3494
December 3, 2007 (*Begins at 7:00 p.m.)
Sheraton Atlantic Beach
2717 W. Fort Macon Road
Atlantic Beach, NC 28512
Phone: 252-240-1155

Public Hearings Scheduled for Snapper Grouper Management