Public Hearings & Scoping Meetings

How They Work

Public hearings are considered an important step in the management process because they give stakeholders an opportunity to,

  • Learn more about proposed actions and management measures being considered by the Council;
  • Speak with Council members and staff about the draft amendments being considered, and
  • Give formal public comment on the record about their ideas and suggestions on the proposed measures.

Public Hearing and Scoping Schedule - Spring 2018

Scoping Items: Snapper Grouper Amendment 42

The draft amendment addresses changes to sea turtle release gear types for the commercial and for-hire components of the snapper grouper fishery. The National Marine Fisheries Service’s Release Protocols for protected species were originally published in 2004, with updates in 2008 and 2010. A new update is ready for publication. In the pending update, three additional sea turtle release gears, used for handling and releasing incidentally caught sea turtles, have been approved by the Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC). The new gear requires less space on vessels while still providing the necessary function. For fishermen operating in the snapper grouper fishery to utilize the newly approved gears, they need to be listed as acceptable gear in the Snapper Grouper FMP and made a requirement in the regulations. The amendment would also revise the snapper grouper framework procedure to include modifications to protected resources release gear requirements and handling procedures after they are approved by the SEFSC to allow for more timely modifications to these regulations.

Meeting Schedule - Dates, Locations, & Webinar Registration

 

The Council will be taking public comment during scheduled scoping and public hearing webinars, listening stations, and in-person meetings and will also accept written comments. See below for instructions on submitting written comments.

April 23, 2018
Scoping (webinar only)
6:00 PM
Snapper Grouper Amendment 42
Webinar Registration

April 24, 2018 
Scoping (webinar only)
6:00 PM
Snapper Grouper Amendment 42
Webinar Registration

Public comment will be taken during the webinar public hearing. The Council is also accepting written comments using an online public comment.

Instructions: 

Written comments may be submitted by using the online public comment form, mail, or fax.

Snapper Grouper Amendment 42 (Sea Turtle Release Gear)

 

Submit Written Comment - By mail or fax:

  • Comments by mail: Send comments to Gregg Waugh, Executive Director, SAFMC, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405
  • Comments by fax: Send to 843/769-4520

Public Hearing Items: Vision Blueprint Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 26 & 27

Vision Blueprint Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 26 (Recreational):

The amendment proposes modifying the species composition of recreational aggregates to better reflect how fishermen are currently fishing and allow more focused management measures (i.e., for deep-water species). Alternatives for aggregate bag limits, minimum size limits and gear requirements are included. The regulatory amendment also proposes modification to the spawning season closure for red grouper off the North and South Carolina coasts and modifying the minimum size limit for gray triggerfish off the east coast of Florida to bring consistency with regulations in state waters.

Vision Blueprint Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 27 (Commercial):

The amendment addresses concerns over equitable access for commercial fishermen fishing in the snapper grouper fishery and proposes measures to help minimize discards. The regulatory amendment includes actions for split commercial seasons for blueline tilefish, snowy grouper, greater amberjack, and red porgy. The amendment also includes actions to modify the commercial trip limit for blueline tilefish, greater amberjack, red porgy, and vermilion snapper. Other measures include specifying a minimum size limit for almaco jack, implementing a trip limit for the Other Jacks complex, extending the seasonal closure for red grouper in federal waters off North Carolina and South Carolina, removing the minimum size limit for three deep-water snappers, and reducing the commercial minimum size limit for gray triggerfish off the east coast of Florida.

Meeting Schedule - Dates, Locations, & Webinar Registration

 

The public hearings for Vision Blueprint Regulatory Amendment 26 & 27 will be conducted via webinar with assigned listening stations. Members of the public are invited to attend any of the webinars.

May 8, 2018
Public Hearing
6:00 PM
Vision Blueprint Regulatory Amendment 26 & 27
Webinar Registration

Listening Stations at the following locations:

  • Haddrell’s Point Tackle, 885 Ben Sawyer Blvd., Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

 

  • Southeast Regional Branch Library, 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256

 

  • NC Division of Marine Fisheries, Southern District Office, 127 Cardinal Drive Extension, Wilmington, NC 28405

May 9, 2018
Public Hearing
6:00 PM
Vision Blueprint Regulatory Amendment 26 & 27
Webinar Registration

Listening Station at the following location:

  • Cocoa Beach Public Library, 550 N. Brevard Ave., Cocoa Beach, FL 32931

 

  • NC Division of Marine Fisheries, Central District Office, 5285 Hwy 70 West, Morehead City, NC 28557

 

May 10, 2018
Public Hearing
6:00 PM
Vision Blueprint Regulatory Amendment 26 & 27
Webinar Registration 

Listening Station at the following locations:

  • Murrells Inlet Community Center, 4462 Murrells Inlet Road, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

 

  • Marathon Government Center, BOCC, 2798 Overseas Highway, 2nd Floor, Marathon, FL 33050

 

  • Hatteras Community Building, 57689 NC Hwy 12, Hatteras, NC 27943

 

Amendment Documents & Presentations

Vision Blueprint Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 26 (Recreational)

Vision Blueprint Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 27 (Commercial)

Public comment will be taken during the webinar public hearing. The Council is also accepting written comments using an online public comment.

Instructions: 

Written comments may be submitted by using the online public comment form, mail, or fax.

Vision Blueprint Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 26 (Recreational)

The online public comment form will close to public hearing comments on May 11, 2018 at 5 PM.

Vision Blueprint Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 27 (Commercial)

The online public comment form will close to public hearing comments on May 11, 2o18 at 5 PM.

 

Submit Written Comment - By mail or fax:

  • Comments by mail: Send comments to Gregg Waugh, Executive Director, SAFMC, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405
  • Comments by fax: Send to 843/769-4520