South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Golden Crab

Golden Crab

The Golden Crab Fishery Management Plan applies to the golden crab resources of the South Atlantic Region. The original FMP was approved in 1995. 

Official name: Fishery Management Plan for the Golden Crab Fishery of the South Atlantic Region.

The Golden Crab FMP established a management program for the golden crab fishery in the South Atlantic Exclusive Economic Zone. The FMP set up a limited entry system and divided the fishery into three zones, required escape gaps with degradable panels in crab traps, prohibited the sale of female crabs, limited retention of female crabs to 0.5% by number, and required that crabs be landed whole. 


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Amendments under development

  • No current items

Completed Amendments

  • Golden Crab Amendment 11

    Included in the Comprehensive Acceptable Biological Catch Control Rule Amendment. Modifies the Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) Control Rule to address scientific uncertainty, management risk, and rebuilding stocks. Specifies criteria and procedures for phase-in of ABC changes and carry-over of unused portions of annual catch limits.

    Feb 2, 2024
  • Golden Crab Amendment 9

    Adjusted sector allocations for dolphin. Modified accountability measures for snapper grouper species and golden crab.

    Feb 1, 2015
  • Golden Crab Amendment 8

    Included in the Comprehensive Dealer Reporting Amendment. Modified permitting and reporting requirements for seafood dealers receiving federally managed species under eight fishery management plans.

    Jul 7, 2014
  • Golden Crab Amendment 5

    Included in the Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment. Established acceptable biological catch (ABC) control rules, ABC levels, annual catch limits, sector and jurisdictional allocations, and accountability measures for species not undergoing overfishing; modified the snapper grouper fishery management unit (removed species, designated ecosystem component species, established complexes).

    Apr 16, 2012
  • Golden Crab Amendment 4

    Included in the Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 1. Established deepwater Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (CHAPC) and established Shrimp Fishery Access Areas and Allowable Golden Crab Fishing Areas within the CHAPCs. Provided spatial information for Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) and EFH-HAPC under multiple fishery management plans.

    Jul 22, 2010
  • Golden Crab Amendment 3

    Addressed gear limitations, vessel permitting specifications, specified status determination criteria, created a sub-zone within the Southern Zone with specified conditions, and modified the FMP framework to allow modifications to the sub-zone.

    Dec 31, 2002
  • Golden Crab Amendment 1

    Included in the Comprehensive EFH Amendment. Identified essential fish habitat (EFH) and established EFH-habitat areas of particular concern (HAPC) for managed species in the South Atlantic.

    Jul 14, 2000
  • Golden Crab Amendment 2

    Included in the Comprehensive Sustainable Fisheries Act Amendment. Addressed definitions and other required provisions of the Sustainable Fisheries Act in South Atlantic fishery management plans.

    Dec 2, 1999
  • Golden Crab Fishery Management Plan

    Established a limited entry system and divided the fishery into three zones, required escape gaps with degradable panels in crab traps and that crabs be landed whole, and prohibited sale of female crabs.

    Apr 10, 1995