Ecological Elements

SWRoss-Conger-0218.jpgHabitat and Ecosystem Characteristics:  The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has consolidated the best available information on habitat essential to species managed in the south Atlantic region in to the Habitat Plan. The description and distribution of essential fish habitat in this document includes estuarine inshore habitats, mainly focusing on North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and the Florida east coast as well as adjacent offshore marine habitats such as coral, coral reefs, and live/hard bottom habitat, artificial reefs, Sargassum habitat and the water column (Photo credit: Ross et al, UNCW). 

Stock Assessment:  The Southeast Data, Assessment and Review SEDAR process is part of the NMFS- Southeast Fisheries Science Center's program for quality control and assurance of stock assessments in the South East region. The SEDAR is a process conducted by the South Atlantic Council  in close coordination with NMFS and the Interstate Commissions to ensure the scientific quality and credibility of stock assessments, and to assure that they continue to support effective fishery management.


SEDAR 1 CIE Report - This report to the Center of Independent Experts (CIE) summarizes the events of the first Southeast Atlantic Stock Assessment Review Committee.

SEDAR 2 CIE Report - This report summarizes the SEDAR 2 meeting and reviews the stock assessments of Vermilion Snapper and Black Sea Bass .

SEDAR 2 CIE Review - This report provides a review the 2003 Stock Assessment of Vermilion Snapper and Black Sea Bass.

SEDAR 3 CIE Report - This report summarizes the SEDAR 3 meeting and addresses Yellowtail Snapper as well as a cursory examination of Goliath Grouper.

SEDAR 3 CIE Review - This report provides a review the 2003 Stock Assessment of Yellowtail Snapper.

SEDAR 6 Assessment Report 1 - Complete Stock Assessment Report of Goliath Grouper

SEDAR 6 Assessment Report 2 - Complete Stock Assessment Report of Hogfish Snapper

SEDAR 8 Assessment Report 3 - Complete Stock Assessment Report of Spiny Lobster

Consolidated SEDAR Workshop Recommendations for Research, Monitoring and SEDAR Procedures - This document is intended to provide a single source reference for those interested in conducting research and improving monitoring.

SEDAR Research Needs July 2006 -- Research and Monitoring Needs for Southeast Fisheries

Current SEDAR Schedule (PDF) Updated April 2008

    Physical and Chemical Oceanography:


    The Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) is an international program for observations, modeling and analysis of marine and ocean variables to support operational ocean services worldwide. The main elements are the sustained collection of ocean observations and the timely distribution of those data and derived products, including analyses, forecasts, and assessments.


    The SouthEast Atlantic Coastal Ocean Observing System (SEACOOS) is a multi-institution collaboration serving to develop a regional coastal ocean observing system for the southeastern United States (NC, SC, GA, FL). SEACOOS, which comprises subsystems of observing, modeling, data management, and extension and education activities, seeks to significantly increase the quantity and quality of environmental information from the coastal ocean and facilitate its use in a wide range of societal, scientific, and educational applications. The founding institutions are research universities within the region (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the University of South Carolina, the University of Miami, and Skidaway Oceanographic Institution), and expanding membership includes a range of state and federal agencies as well as private sector interests.  SEACOOS is funded by the Office of Naval Research.


    The Carolinas Coastal Ocean Observing and Prediction System (Caro-COOPS) is based upon an instrumented array of coastal and offshore moorings, which are being deployed off of the coast of the Carolinas. The information from this observing system will be used to monitor and model estuarine and coastal ocean conditions, as well as develop predictive tools and ultimately forecasts for coastal managers. Caro-COOPS is a partnership among the University of South Carolina, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. It is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    SABSOON sabsoon.jpg

    The South Atlantic Bight Synoptic Offshore Observational Network (SABSOON) is a real-time observational network off the U.S. Southeastern continental shelf. Eight large offshore platforms, currently operated by the U.S. Navy for flight training, have been instrumented to provide a range of large-scale synoptic oceanographic and meteorological observations in real-time, thus allowing the development of an interannual to decadal database on ocean-atmosphere interactions. As designed, the network is capable of providing important information on cross-shelf exchange, storm effects, and atmospheric transport. Real-time video observations of an artificial reef habitat provide information for fisheries management and research. SABSOON partners are the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, University of North Carolina, University of Georgia, SE TACTS, NOAA, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and EPA.


    The Southeast Coastal Ocean Observations Regional Association (SECOORA) provides current information and resources for Coastal Ocean Observation System (COOS) providers and users throughout the southeastern U.S. The SAFMC supports the SECOORA effort and has participated in preliminary association development meetings.


    The Coastal Ocean Research and Monitoring Program (CORMP) at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) is a research and monitoring program designed to provide an interdisciplinary science-based framework that supports sound public policy leading to wise coastal use, sustainable fisheries and improved coastal ocean ecosystem health. The primary goals of CORMP are: to establish a regional observing network providing observations of oceanographic core variables in near real-time; to provide operationally useful information on the state of living marine resources based on user defined need; to develop and implement a permanent data management and delivery system; and to establish partnerships and to provide products and programs that meet identified and anticipated needs of regional data user-groups. CORMP partners include the University of South Carolina, North Carolina State University, the National Weather Service, and the USMC at Camp Lejeune, NC. It is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    Southeast USA Recent Marine Data

    This Web site provides access to data collected by the National Data Buoy Center. This is a NOAA program with moored buoys and onshore/nearshore platforms (C-MAN stations) for oceanographic and meteorological observations in the Southeast. Parameters collected include wind direction, wind speed, wind gust, atmospheric pressure, pressure tendency, and air temperature.