Bycatch Reporting Amendment

Bycatch Reporting Amendment

Purpose of Review: Per the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, all Fishery Management Plans must identify the required standardized procedure or procedures to collect, record, and report bycatch data in a consistent manner for the fishery. The Council has specified standardized bycatch reporting methodologies (SBRM) for all its South Atlantic and Joint Fishery Management Plans. A final rule, effective on February 17, 2017, requires Councils to explain how the current SBRMs meet the statutory purpose of a SBRM based on an analysis of four required considerations: 

  1. Bycatch characteristics
  2. Feasibility of methodology (cost, technical, operational)
  3. Data uncertainty
  4. Data use for assessing amount and type.  

The Councils, in consultation with NMFS, must review the current SBRMs within five years of the final rule’s effective date (by March 2022), and must conduct follow up reviews at least once every five years. Council FMPs already include SBRMs, so these are being reviewed by an IPT to determine whether they are in compliance with MSA requirements and if any actions are necessary to bring SBRMs into compliance. 

Key Events: 

  • 2019 and 2020: Council received periodic updates of review being conducted by an IPT 
  • October 2021: The SSC will discuss and provide recommendations on criteria 3 and 4 to include in the review. 
  • December 2021: The Council will receive the result of the review and determine whether action is needed to improve SBRMs. 
Pre - Scoping

Council Process

  • Pre-Scoping:  
  • Scoping:  
  • Public Hearing:  
  • Final Approval:  

NMFS Process

  • Secretarial Review:  
  • Rule Making:  
  • Implementation: