South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Sector Allocations

The term “allocation” refers to the distribution of the opportunity to participate in a fishery among user groups or individuals. The Council has often used a formula or the distribution of landings over time to determine percentage allocations.

There are 10 National Standards within the Magnuson-Stevens Act that Councils must follow in fishery management plans to ensure sustainable management. National Standard 4 outlines how to address the allocation of fishery resources: 

Conservation and management measures shall not discriminate between residents of different states. If it becomes necessary to allocate or assign fishing privileges among various United States fishermen, such allocation shall be (a) fair and equitable to all such fishermen; (b) reasonably calculated to promote conservation; and (c) carried out in such manner that no particular individual, corporation, or other entity acquires an excessive share of such privilege.

In 2019, the Council approved its Allocation review Trigger Policy to ensure all species for which there are sector allocations (commercial and recreational, including for-hire) would be reviewed on a regular basis and to formalize the allocation review triggers and process. 

In 2022, the Council approved an Allocations Decision Tool to help incorporate other sources of information, in addition to landings, into allocation decisions.

Current Allocations

Coastal Migratory Pelagics
SpeciesMigratory GroupCommercial AllocationRecreational AllocationNext Allocation ReviewMost Recent Allocation Review
King MackerelAtlantic Migratory Group37.1%62.9%2028March 2022 (Am 34)
Spanish MackerelAtlantic Migratory Group55%45%2022September 1999 (Reg Am 1999)
CobiaFlorida East Coast Zone8%92%2029December 2021 (Am 32)
Dolphin Wahoo
SpeciesCommercial AllocationRecreational AllocationNext Allocation ReviewMost Recent Allocation Review
Dolphin7%93%2029 May 2022 (Am 10)
Wahoo2.45%97.55%2029 May 2022 (Am 10)
Snapper Grouper
SpeciesCommercial AllocationRecreational AllocationNext Allocation ReviewMost Recent Allocation Review
Atlantic Spadefish18.53%81.47%2022
Bar Jack21.25%78.75%2022
Black grouper36.88%63.12%2026
Black sea bass43.00%57.00%2023
Blueline Tilefish50.07%49.93%2020
Gag51.00%49.00%2030October 2023 (Am 53)
Golden tilefish97%  (25% Hook and line, 75% longline) 3.00%2030December 2023 (Am 52)
Gray Triggerfish43.56%56.44%2023
Greater amberjack40.66%59.34%2030October 2023 (Am 49)
Hogfish GA-NC69.13%30.87%2024August 2017 (Am 37)
Hogfish FLK/EFL9.63% 90.37% 2024August 2017 (Am 37)
Mutton Snapper17.02%82.98%2023
Red grouper44.00%56.00%2023
Red porgy51.43%48.57%2030January 2023 (Am 50)
Red snapper28.07%71.93%2024Reg 35 (under development)
Scamp65.34%34.66%2022Am 55 (under development)
Snowy grouper83%17% 2021November 2023 (Am 51)
Speckled hind65.59%34.41%**
Warsaw grouper17.79%82.21%**
Vermilion snapper68.00%32.00%2021
Wreckfish95.00%5.00%2019Am 48 (under development)
Yellowtail Snapper52.56%47.44%2021
Goliath Groupern/an/a*
Nassau Groupern/an/a*
Deepwater Complex 
Yellowedge Grouper90.77%9.23%2024
Silk Snapper73.95%26.05%2024
Misty Grouper83.42%16.58%2024
Sand Tilefish22.17%77.83%2024
Queen Snapper92.50%7.50%2024
Blackfin Snapper29.91%70.09%2024
Jacks Complex
Almaco Jack48.70%51.30%2025
Banded Rudderfish26.01%73.99%2025
Lesser Amberjack46.07%53.93%2025
Snappers Complex
Gray Snapper24.23%75.77%2025
Lane Snapper14.75%85.25%2025
Cubera Snapper19.57%80.43%2025
Grunts Complex
White Grunt31.59%68.41%2024
Sailor’s Choice0.00%100.00%2024
Shallow-Water Groupers Complex
Red Hind73.60%26.40%2026
Rock Hind60.90%39.10%2026
Yellowmouth Grouper1.10%98.90%2026Am 55 (under development)
Yellowfin Grouper52.70%47.30%2026
Porgy Complex
Jolthead Porgy4.15%95.85%2027
Knobbed Porgy51.18%48.82%2027
Saucereye Porgy0.01%99.99%2027
Whitebone Porgy1.05%98.95%2027
Ecosystem Component Species
Bank Sea Bass
Rock Sea Bass
Longspine Porgy
Ocean Triggerfish

*Allocation review dates refer to initial implementation or when the allocation review report is approved.