March 2019 – Council Meeting Details

Blue_transp2SAFMC Council Meeting

March 4 - 8, 2019

Westin Jekyll Island
110 Ocean Way
Jekyll Island, GA 31527

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{Except for advertised (scheduled) public hearings and public comment sessions, the times indicated on the agenda may be adjusted as necessary to accommodate the completion of agenda items. Interested parties should be aware that meetings may start earlier or later than indicated.}

Download Complete Agenda - click here

View Complete Briefing Book - click here

Monday, March 4
  • 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM: Information & Education Committee
  • 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM: Snapper Grouper Committee
  • 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM: Dolphin Wahoo Committee
Tuesday, March 5
  • 8:30 AM - 12:00 Noon: Habitat Protection & Ecosystem-Based Management Committee
  • 1:30 PM - 5:00 PM: Snapper Grouper Committee Continued
Wednesday, March 6
  • 8:30 AM - 12:00 Noon: Committee of the Whole
  • 1:30 PM - 3:45 PM: Mackerel Cobia Committee
  • 3:45 PM - 4:00 PM: Executive Finance Committee
Thursday, March 7
  • 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM: AP Selection Committee (CLOSED)
  • 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM: SEDAR Committee
  • 11:00 AM - 12:00 Noon: SOPPs Committee (Partially CLOSED)
  • 1:30 PM - 3:45 PM: Executive Finance Committee Continued
  • 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM: Council Session
Friday, March 8
  • 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM: Council Session

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In-Person Public Comment: Wednesday, March 6 @ 4:00 PM

Public comment will be accepted regarding the following agenda items in addition to other topics.

Approval for Formal Review:

  • Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 42 (Sea Turtle Release Gear/SG Framework Procedure)
  • Gulf Council Carry Over Amendment (Coastal Migratory Pelagics & Spiny Lobster)
    • Note: this is not being proposed for the South Atlantic, but must come before the South Atlantic Council since the Coastal Migratory Pelagics and Spiny Lobster fishery management plans are managed jointly between the Gulf and South Atlantic Council

Approval for Scoping:

  • Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 10 (Revisions to Dolphin and Wahoo Management Measures)

Approval for Public Hearings:

  • None

Other Items of Interest:

  • Allowable Biological Catch Control Rule
  • Modifications to Recreational Accountability Measures Amendment
  • Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 29 (Best Practices and Powerheads)
  • Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 30 (Red Grouper Rebuilding)
  • Wreckfish ITQ Review
Written Comments - Instructions and Deadlines for Submission

public_commentComment period opens on February 15, 2019.

Written comments must be submitted using the online comment form linked below.


Note: The online comment form accepts attachments.

Once comments are submitted using the online comment form, they are posted to the Council's website for the public to view.

If you are unable to access a computer, comments may also be submitted via mail or fax to:
4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201
N. Charleston, SC  29405
Fax: 843-769-4520


February 28, 2019: 
Written comments (online and those submitted by mail/fax) received by close of business the Monday before the meeting (February 28) will be compiled, posted to the website as part of the meeting materials, and included in the administrative record.  Please use the online comment form to ensure your comments get distributed immediately to Council.

February 29 - March 7: 
Individuals that wish to submit comments after February 28 must use the Council's online comment form. Comments will automatically be posted to the website and available for Council consideration. Comments received prior to noon on Thursday of the Council meeting (03/07/19) will be a part of the meeting administrative record.

Snapper Grouper Committee

  • During the committee meeting, the council is expected to receive an update from NOAA Fisheries on the status of a 2019 red snapper season.
  • Snapper Grouper Amendment 42 could be approved for formal secretarial review at the March Meeting. It considers the addition of newly approved sea turtle release gears to the suite of choices available to commercial and for-hire snapper grouper fishermen.
  • The committee will discuss Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 29, which proposes requirements for descending devices, venting tools, and circle hooks, while also proposing changes to restrictions on powerheads.

Dolphin Wahoo Committee

  • The Council will revisit discussions of Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 10, which considers actions to revise dolphin and wahoo management measures. The amendment is in its early stages and considers options for the following:
    • allow bag limit sales of dolphin for dually permitted for-hire and commercial permit holders
    • modify gear, bait, and training requirements in the commercial longline fishery for dolphin and wahoo to align with HMS requirements
    • reduce the recreational vessel limit for dolphin
    • revise the Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) to accommodate new MRIP data
    • revise sector allocations

Habitat Protection & Ecosystem-Based Management Committee

  • The Council will host an Atlantic coast-wide discussion to address species movement northwards. Representatives from the New England Fishery Management Council, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will participate in the discussion.

Committee of the Whole

  • The Council will begin discussing allocations following review of a story map produced to help navigate the challenging history of allocations in the South Atlantic.


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