Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 10

Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 10

Actions in the Amendment:

  • Actions that accommodate revised recreational data and catch level recommendations
      • Revise the total annual catch limit for dolphin to reflect the updated acceptable biological catch level
      • Revise the total annual catch limit for wahoo to reflect the updated acceptable biological catch level
      • Revise sector allocations and sector annual catch limits for dolphin
      • Revise sector allocations and sector annual catch limits for wahoo
  • Actions that change accountability measures 
      • Revise the trigger for the post-season recreational accountability measures for dolphin
      • Revise the post-season recreational accountability measures for dolphin
      • Revise the trigger for the post-season recreational accountability measures for wahoo
      • Revise the post-season recreational accountability measures for wahoo
  • Actions that implement various management revisions in the dolphin and wahoo fisheries
    • Allow properly permitted commercial fishing vessels with trap, pot, or buoy gear on board that are not authorized for use in the dolphin wahoo fishery to possess commercial quantities of dolphin and wahoo  
    • Remove the requirement of vessel operators or crew to hold an Operator Card in the Dolphin Wahoo Fishery
    • Reduce the recreational vessel limit for dolphin 
    • Reduce the recreational bag limit for wahoo and implement a recreational vessel limit for wahoo

Background

In March 2016, the Council directed staff to begin development of a joint dolphin wahoo and snapper grouper amendment to examine different ways to allocate or share quota between the commercial and recreational sectors for dolphin and yellowtail snapper.  In June 2016, the Council approved the amendment for scoping hearings, which were held in August 2016.  Options included a common pool allocation, a reserve category, temporary or permanent shifts in allocation, combined annual catch limits, and creating gear allocations in the commercial dolphin fishery.

In December 2016, the Council considered approving the amendment, which was being developed jointly with Snapper Grouper Amendment 44 for public hearings in early 2017.  Instead, the Council directed staff to continue to develop Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 10 but separately from SG Am 44 and include an action to revise the Acceptable Biological Catch Control Rule to include a carry-over provision from one fishing year to the next. The Council also directed staff to develop actions that would eliminate the operator card requirement in the Dolphin Wahoo Fishery Management Plan, revised optimum yield, and allow properly permitted vessels with gear onboard that are not authorized for use in the dolphin wahoo fishery to possess dolphin or wahoo.  Consequently, the Dolphin Wahoo Fishery Management Plan actions were not approved for public hearings.  In March 2017, the Council decided to stop work on the amendment until revised Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) data were available.

At the December 2018 meeting, the Council directed staff to start work again on the amendment with the inclusion of additional items to allow bag limit sales of dolphin for dually permitted for-hire and commercial permit holders, modify gear, bait, and training requirements in the commercial longline fishery for dolphin and wahoo to align with HMS requirements, reduce the recreational vessel limit for dolphin, revise Annual Catch Limits to accommodate new MRIP data, and revise sector allocations. At the June 2019 meeting, the Council removed the action that would allow bag limit sales of dolphin, moved actions from the Recreational Accountability Modifications Amendment (Dolphin Wahoo Regulatory Amendment 2) to Amendment 10, and added an action that would allow filleting of dolphin at sea onboard for-hire vessels in the waters north of the Virginia/North Carolina state border.

The Council reviewed Amendment 10 at the December 2019 meeting and voted to postpone discussion on the amendment until the June 2020 meeting in expectation of new ABC levels from the Council’s SSC for both dolphin and wahoo.  The new ABC levels were provided at the June 2020 meeting and the Council reviewed the amendment, removing actions that would revise OY and ACTs for dolphin.  The Council also moved actions that would modify gear, bait, and training requirements in the commercial longline fishery for dolphin and wahoo to align with HMS requirements to a new amendment.  At the September 2020 meeting, the Council further refined Amendment 10 and removed actions that would revise commercial accountability measures.

In December 2020, the Council approved the purpose and need statements for the amendment and added an action that would revise the recreational vessel limits for wahoo. At this meeting, the Council also approved Amendment 10 for public hearings to be held January 26, 27, & 28, 2021.

In March 2021, the Council reviewed public hearing comments, approved edits to the purpose and need statement, affirmed or selected preferred alternatives for all actions, and directed staff to prepared the amendment for a potential vote of approval for Secretarial review at the June 2021 meeting. As of the March 2021 Council meeting, the actions in Amendment 10 would accommodate updated recreational data from the Marine Recreational Information Program and new catch level recommendations from the SSC by revising the annual catch limits and sector allocations for dolphin and wahoo. The amendment also contains actions that implement various other management changes in the fishery including revising recreational accountability measures, accommodating possession of dolphin and wahoo on vessels with certain unauthorized gears onboard, removing the operator card requirement, reducing the recreational vessel limit for dolphin, reducing the recreational bag limit for wahoo, and implementing a recreational vessel limit for wahoo. 

Scroll to the section about Dolphin & Wahoo in the story map below for information on discussions during the 2021 March Council Meeting.

 

Staff Contact

John Hadley (john.hadley@safmc.net)

 

Documents & Public Comments


Council Process

  • Pre-Scoping:  June 2016
  • Scoping:  August 2016
  • Public Hearing:  January 2021
  • Final Approval: 

NMFS Process

  • Secretarial Review: 
  • Rule Making:  
  • Implementation: