Fishery Management Plans / Amendments

Fishery Management Plans / Amendments

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council currently manages eight fisheries. These fisheries include: coastal migratory pelagics, coral and live bottom habitat, dolphin and wahoo, golden crab, shrimp, snapper grouper, spiny lobster, and Sargassum. Of these eight fisheries, only one contains species that are considered overfished - snapper grouper. Both the recreational and commercial snapper grouper fisheries are highly regulated and progress continues to be made as more species are removed from the overfished list each year. The other six fisheries are expected to continue into the future at productive sustainable levels.

List of species managed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Research and monitoring for these fisheries is conducted through the National Marine Fisheries Service. While the Council is not responsible for research and monitoring, each of the eight regional fishery management councils is required by the reauthorized Magnuson-Stevens Act to develop a prioritized research plan for annual submission to the Secretary of Commerce. The Council has approved the South Atlantic Research and Monitoring Prioritization Plan for 2012-2016. The Plan includes highlighted issues and prioritized recommendations for obtaining accurate fishery information, including basic data required for management purposes.

Below is a list of Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) for the species managed by the Council and links to additional information. The list includes the Council's comprehensive Habitat Plan describing essential fish habitat. This document will serve as the foundation for the development of the Council's Fishery Ecosystem Plan. For more information, visit the Council's Ecosystem Pages.

Note: For information about amendments under development by the Council, including draft versions of the documents, please reference the briefing book materials from the Council's quarterly meetings.

Fishery Management Plans

  • Coastal Migratory Pelagics (Mackerels)
    Coastal Migratory Pelagics (Mackerels)
    Managed jointly with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, this fishery management plan includes king and Spanish mackerel, and cobia.
    More Info

  • Coral
    The Coral, Coral Reef, and Live/Hardbottom Habitat Fishery Management Plan optimizes the benefits generated from the South Atlantic's coral resource while conserving the coral and coral reefs.
    More Info

  • Dolphin / Wahoo
    Approved in 2004, the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery Management Plan represents a precautionary approach to management.
    More Info

  • Ecosystem-Based Amendments
    Ecosystem-Based Amendments
    The Council's ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management builds on the biological, economic, and social information presented in the Fishery Ecosystem
    More Info

  • Golden Crab
    Golden Crab
    This specialized deepwater commercial crab fishery was established in the early 1990s following the prohibition of fish traps in the snapper grouper fishery.
    More Info

  • Habitat
    Through a collaborative process among many regional partners, the Council consolidated the best available information on habitat essential to species managed in the South Atlantic region in to a Habitat Plan.
    More Info

  • Sargassum
    Approved in 2003, the management plan protects Sargassum, a free-floating seaweed found throughout the blue waters of the South Atlantic from extensive commercial harvest.
    More Info

  • Shrimp
    The commercial shrimp fishery is one of the most economically important in the nation.  With the ability to close federal waters to protect spawning white shrimp
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  • Snapper Grouper
    Snapper Grouper
    Of the 75 species managed by the Council, 59 are included in the snapper/grouper complex. Because of its mixed-species nature, this fishery is challenging to manage.
    More Info

  • Spiny Lobster
    Spiny Lobster
    Adult spiny lobsters make their homes in the protected crevices and caverns of coral reefs, sponge flats, and other hard-bottomed areas.
    More Info

  • Generic Amendments
    Generic Amendments
    See the latest fishery management amendments related to data collection and more.
    More Info