Snapper Grouper Vision Blueprint Recreational Regulatory Amendment 26

Snapper Grouper Vision Blueprint Recreational Regulatory Amendment 26

In June 2016, the Council directed staff to begin development of an amendment to address items identified in the Vision Blueprint addressing recreational management measures. In September 2016 the Council reviewed an options paper and directed staff to prepare a scoping document. Scoping meetings were held in late January/early February 2017 and the Council reviewed public comments and gave direction to staff at their March 2017 meeting.

In June 2017, the Council provided further guidance but did not approve the amendment for public hearings. Actions in the amendment include modification to the composition and limits of the recreational aggregates, measures to reduce discards, establishment or modification of recreational seasons, and gear restrictions/modifications.

During the September 2017 meeting, the Council approved an alternative approach for structuring the amendment that would better reflect the Council’s Vision and how the fishery currently operates.  Because of this change, the Council also approved a revised timeline for amendment development with formal approval expected in September 2018.

The Council reviewed analyses and approved the amendment for public hearings at their March 2018 meeting. Public hearings were held via webinar in May 2018.  In June, the Council received public input and decided to narrow the focus of the amendment, and removed several actions/sub-actions.

After much discussion during the December Meeting, the Council removed the actions pertaining to the proposed deep-water aggregate due to access concerns from different states in the region. Instead, the Council approved the amendment with the following actions for formal review at the 2018 December Meeting.

The following actions were approved by the Council for formal secretarial review. If approved by NOAA Fisheries and the Secretary of Commerce, they could go into effect some time late in 2019.

  • Removal of minimum size limitsfor the three deep-water snappers (queen snapper, blackfin snapper, silk snapper)
  • Recreational bag limits for the current 20-Fish Aggregate: no more than 10 fish within the aggregate can be of any one species.
  • Reduction in the gray triggerfish minimum size limitto 12 inches (so regulations in federal waters off east FL will match those in E. FL state waters and the rest of the South Atlantic states)



Council Process

  • Pre-Scoping:  September 2016
  • Scoping:  January/February 2017
  • Public Hearing:  May 2018
  • Final Approval:  December 2018

NMFS Process

  • Secretarial Review:  April 2019
  • Rule Making:  October 2019
  • Implementation:  March 30, 2020