South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

The South Atlantic Bite

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is currently soliciting public comment for two actions proposed in Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 35. The amendment’s first action would modify the annual catch limit for Red Snapper to address overfishing, primarily driven by high numbers of fish in the recreational fishery released throughout the year that don’t survive. These dead fish comprise approximately 85% of the allowable removals for the fishery. Due to the high proportion of removals being dead discards, reductions in landings alone, even no allowable landings, will not end the overfishing of Red Snapper. Therefore, in order to end overfishing, the Council must also reduce dead discards.

Council Approves Management Measures for Snowy Grouper, Tilefish

After considering recommendations from its advisory panels, Scientific and Statistical Committee, and public input, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved three amendments for Secretarial review during its December meeting at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. If approved by the Secretary of Commerce, measures proposed in the amendments would likely be implemented in 2023.

Federal Fishery Advisory Panel Seats Open for South Atlantic Region

Persons interested in federal fisheries management have an opportunity to become more involved by applying now for open seats on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s advisory panels. The advisory panels inform and guide the Council in developing and implementing federal fishery management plans and amendments. Issues currently being addressed by the Council include options […]

Federal Fishery Managers Consider Options for Red Snapper Management

There were many agenda items affecting federal fisheries management for the September meeting of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, but a single issue dominated interest from the public – the potential use of time/area closures for the snapper grouper fishery. The Council received a total of 1,047 online written comments, with the majority opposing time and area closures to address release mortality in the Red Snapper fishery. The opposition continued as the Council received comments during the meeting in Charleston, SC from charter captains, recreational fishermen, regional business leaders, boat and fishing gear manufacturers, and Florida Congressman John Rutherford.

Offshore Patrol Vessel Osprey Officers McDonough and Demeter Receive SAFMC Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award

The Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award is presented to individuals or teams that have exceeded, above and beyond, the duty requirements expected, exemplify the virtues of professionalism and dedication, and demonstrated a distinct pattern of service to enforcing fisheries regulations in the South Atlantic region. Officer McDonough was the first recipient of the award in 2010 when he was acknowledged for his work with the FWC coastal squad in Volusia County and participation in the Federal Joint Enforcement Agreement.

Council Approves Measures for King and Spanish Mackerel, End Overfishing for Red Porgy

Members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council wrapped up a busy meeting week in Jekyll Island, Georgia addressing federal fishery management issues and approving two amendments for review by the Secretary of Commerce. Amendment 34 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region would increase annual […]

Council Exploring Options to Reduce Release Mortality and a Holistic Approach to Management of Snapper Grouper Species

December 15, 2021 – Members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council are beginning to explore ways to reduce the number of fish that are released in the Snapper Grouper Management Complex and improve survival rates for those fish that are released. The multi-species complex includes 55 species of snappers, groupers, porgies, grunts, and amberjacks. […]

Council Approves Expansion of Shrimp Fishery Access Area Adjacent to Deepwater Coral

It has been seven years since expansion of the northern end of the Oculina Bank Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) was approved by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. Designed to provide additional protection for the rare, slow growing, deepwater Oculina coral found off the central east coast of Florida, the expansion also included […]