SAFMC News Release – 12/10/13: December 2013 Meeting Follow-Up

Federal Fishery Managers Move Forward with Visioning Project   

Council will focus on long-term vision for managing the snapper grouper fishery; public input key

    Members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council continued to focus on developing long-term goals and objectives for the snapper grouper fishery through its Visioning Project during the quarterly meeting in Wilmington, North Carolina last week.  The Council is developing a long-term “vision” for the snapper grouper fishery that will include stakeholder input as it moves forward to develop a proactive plan for future management of the fishery.“Fisheries management, especially at the federal level, is often seen as reactionary and focused on an immediate crisis,” said Council Chairman Ben Hartig. “Fishermen and others have expressed concern about this approach and as a result, the Council is using the Visioning Project to come up with solutions to address the long-term viability of fisheries in the region, focusing on the snapper grouper fishery.”  See the full News Release for complete details about the Visioning Project.

   Other items addressed at the meeting included,

  • Final approval of Joint Amendment 20B to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics (Mackerel) Fishery Management Plan that will be submitted to the Secretary of Commerce.
  • Approval for public hearings of Snapper Grouper Amendment 29 addressing a methodology for addressing stocks without a current stock assessment. (January 2014)
  • Approval for public hearings a Joint Mackerel Framework Amendment addressing Spanish mackerel management measures. (January 2014)
  • Approval for public scoping meetings Coastal Migratory Pelagics Amendments 24 and 26 proposing options to allow separate mackerel permits for the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico and to address allocations.  
  • Approval for public scoping meetings Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 16 that proposes to remove the seasonal closure for the black sea bass pot fishery.
  • Delay of public scoping meetings to August 2014 for Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 17 addressing reconfiguration and/or possible additional Marine Protected Areas to reduce bycatch of speckled hind and warsaw grouper.

Read the full News Release for complete details of the meeting and more information.