Council Seeks Public Input on Management Options for Recreational Accountability Measures and for ABC Control Rule
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is seeking public scoping comment on two amendments affecting how federal fisheries are managed under its jurisdiction. Scoping is the first stage in the process to amend a fishery management plan (FMP) and offers the public an opportunity to comment on options being considered.
Scoping documents along with presentations (both PDF and video) are available from the Council's website at: https://safmc.net/safmc-meetings/public-hearings-scoping-meetings/. Public comment forms are also available from the website. Written comments are due to the Council office by February 1, 2019.
Two webinars will be held to provide an overview of the two amendments and answer any questions prior to taking formal public comment. Registration for the webinars is required.
- Wednesday, January 23at 6:00 PM Webinar Registration
- Thursday, January 24at 6:00 PM Webinar Registration
AMENDMENTS FOR SCOPING:
Modifications to Recreational Accountability Measures
(Regulatory Amendment 31 to the Snapper Grouper FMP and Regulatory Amendment 2 to the Dolphin Wahoo FMP)
Frustrated with recreational fishing seasons that begin and end at different times from one year to the next? Wish that you could plan your fishing trips well in advance and know if a season will be open or closed? Have ideas on how to improve fishing seasons while meeting the requirements not to exceed annual catch limits?
The Council is considering modifying in-season and post-season accountability measures (AMs) used to help ensure annual catch limits are not exceeded. These may include closing a fishery during the fishing year (in-season), reducing the length of a fishing season in a subsequent year if the catch limit is exceeded, or reducing bag limits (post-season). Currently, accountability measures for the recreational sector vary for species in the snapper grouper management complex and for dolphin and wahoo. The Council's intent is to reduce complexity and make it easier for recreational fishermen to understand how the AMs would be applied.
The Amendment also includes options to institute a policy to announce when a recreational fishing season will begin and end prior to the fishing year, and revise the units used for tracking recreational annual catch limits.
Comprehensive ABC Control Rule Amendment
(Modifications to the Allowable Biolgical Catch Control Rule)
This amendment may seem a bit complicated - and it is. But the concepts are important. The ABC Control Rule (a set of guidelines), determines how two key factors - scientific uncertainty and the risk of overfishing - are evaluated and applied to available fishery information and subsequently determine the Acceptable Biological Catch (or the amount of fish you get to keep). And that's important to everyone.
Read More, Register for Webinars, and Submit Your Comments