Accepting Public Comment – March 2013 Council Meeting

At the March 2013 Council meeting, five amendments to existing fishery management plans are scheduled for approval for submission to the Secretary of Commerce. If approved by the Council in March, the measures will be reviewed by NOAA Fisheries and the Secretary of Commerce before regulations are implemented in 2013. The Council will take public comment on December 6, 2012 during the December meeting before making final decisions. The following amendments are open for public comment at the Council meeting.

Note: The Council is still accepting written comment for Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 18 through March 4, 2013 (see below for information on how to submit written comments.)


Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 18 - Management measures for vermilion snapper and red porgy

Quick Overview: Stock assessment updates were completed in October 2012 for both vermilion snapper and red porgy through the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) stock assessment program. The updates show that overfishing has ended for vermilion snapper allowing for an increase in the Annual Catch Limit (ACL). While red porgy is not undergoing overfishing, the assessment update concluded the stock is still overfished and reductions in the ACL are necessary. Based on these updates to the stock assessment, the amendment proposes:

For Vermilion Snapper -

  • Revisions to the ACL  that could result in an increase in the ACL for both the commercial and recreational fishery.
  • Modifications to the commercial fishing seasons.
  • Modifications to the commercial trip limit.
  • Removal of the annual recreational closed season currently in place from November through March.

For Red Porgy -

  • Revisions to the ACL (including sector ACLs) that could result in a decrease in the ACL for both the commercial and recreational fishery.

Written Comments Due: March 4, 2013 by 5p.m. EST.

How to submit comments: Send email comments to, SGRegAm18Comments@safmc.net.

Mail or fax written comments to the Council office at: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201 North Charleston, SC 29405; 843/769-4520 (fax)

For more detailed information: Read Summary Document - Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 18  


Snapper Grouper Amendment 27 - Management measures for vermilion snapper and red porgy

Quick Overview: The amendment includes the following actions: 1) Extend management responsiblity of Nassau grouper to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council in Gulf of Mexico waters; 2) Increase the number of allowable crewmembers on dual-permitted snapper grouper vessels; 3) address captain and crew bag limit retention of snapper grouper; 4) Modify the snapper grouper framework procedures to allow ABC levels, ACLs, and ACTs to be adjusted via Federal Register Notice; and 5) Modify management measures for blue runner.

NOTE: The formal written comment period is closed. However, the public can submit additional comments to the Council at any time at comments@safmc.net

Public Comment: The public may make public comment on Friday, March 8, 2013 starting at 8:45 AM at the Council meeting being held at St. Simons Island, GA.

For more detailed information: Read Summary Document - Snapper Grouper Amendment 27 


Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 3 (CE-BA 3) - Improvements to Bycatch Data Reporting

Quick Overview: The amendment contains this single action addressing bycatch data collection and bycatch reporting that would amend the Snapper Grouper, Dolphin and Wahoo, Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources, and Golden Crab Fishery Management Plans.

NOTE: The formal written comment period is closed. However, the public can submit additional comments to the Council at any time at comments@safmc.net

Public Comment: The public may make public comment on Friday, March 8, 2013 starting at 8:45 AM at the Council meeting being held at St. Simons Island, GA. 

For more detailed information: Read Summary Document - CE-BA 3


Joint SA/Gulf Generic Dealer Amendment -

Quick Overview: The amendment proposes a single universal dealer permit for both the Gulf and South Atlantic, changes to the method of reporting (electronic) and reporting frequency, and a requirement for dealer permits to remain current in their reporting to continue to purchase product from federally permitted vessels.

NOTE: The formal written comment period is closed. However, the public can submit additional comments to the Council at any time at comments@safmc.net

Public Comment: The public may make public comment on Friday, March 8, 2013 starting at 8:45 AM at the Council meeting being held at St. Simons Island, GA.

For more detailed information: Read Summary Document - Document is available at the Council meeting.


Joint SA/Gulf Generic Headboat/Charterboat Reporting Amendment - Improvements to reporting requirements in the For-Hire sector

Quick Overview: The amendment contains this single action to require headboats only to submit fishing records electronically on a weekly basis to help improve the accuracy and frequency of available data.

NOTE: The formal written comment period is closed. However, the public can submit additional comments to the Council at any time at comments@safmc.net

Public Comment: The public may make public comment on Friday, March 8, 2013 starting at 8:45 AM at the Council meeting being held at St. Simons Island, GA. 

For more detailed information: Read Summary Document - Joint SA/GM Generic Headboat/Charterboat Reporting Amendment


Extension of the Yellowtail Snapper Temporary Rule -

Quick Overview: In late 2012, NOAA Fisheries implemented a temporary rule to increase the commercial ACL for yellowtail snapper based on an updated stock assessment. The rule was implemented on November 7, 2012 and allowed the commercial fishery to stay open. The temporary rule is set to expire on May 6, 2013 and the Council needs public comment about extending the rule.

NOTE: The formal written comment period is closed. However, the public can submit additional comments to the Council at any time at comments@safmc.net 

Public Comment: The public may make public comment on Friday, March 8, 2013 starting at 8:45 AM at the Council meeting being held at St. Simons Island, GA.

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