03/17/14 – SAFMC New Release – Upcoming Meetings Target Federal Fisheries Management Issues

News Release
March 17, 2014
Contact: Kim Iverson

  Upcoming Meetings Target Federal Fisheries Management Issues -

Scientists convene in April; Advisory panels provide input; Port meetings continue 

Fishermen and others interested in federal fishery management issues may want to mark their calendars for upcoming meetings that will impact fisheries such as snapper grouper, dolphin wahoo, and mackerel.  Several advisory panel meetings are scheduled in the coming weeks in order to provide recommendations to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. 
Agenda items include marine protected areas, transportation of fillets from the Bahamas into the U.S. by recreational fishermen, allocations of dolphin (mahi mahi) between commercial and recreational fishermen, and permit options for federally permitted mackerel fishermen.  Advisory panel members, representing commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen, fish house operators and others knowledgeable about fisheries issues, provide grass roots input into the fishery management process.  The Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) will also provide science-based recommendations following its April meeting. 
Community Port Meetings continue to be held as part of the Council's Visioning Project for the snapper grouper fishery.  Information on the Visioning Project, including a schedule of the port meetings is available from the Visioning Project page of Council's website at safmc.net/cms.  Additional information about other meetings listed below, including meeting agendas, overviews and briefing book materials will be posted on the SSC and Advisory Panel Meetings page of the Council's web site as they become available.  Members of the public are invited to attend all meetings.  The SSC and advisory panel meetings will also be accessible online via webinar as they occur. Webinar registration is required and registration details will be posted on the Meetings pages of the website as they become available.

April 28 - May 1, 2013 - Scientific and Statistical Committee/Socio-Economic Panel Meeting

     Reviews of stock assessments for snowy grouper, gag grouper, and wreckfish top the agenda for a meeting of the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC).  Members of the SSC will review the assessments for these three species as well as landings projections for blueline tilefish and provide fishing level recommendations for the Council to consider. The SSC will also provide recommendations for stock assessment priorities and long-term scheduling, research priorities for the coming year, and review recommendations from its Socio-Economic Panel. Committee members will also review several proposed amendments to the Council's Fishery Management Plans. The SSC's Socio-Economic Panel (SEP) will meet from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM on April 28, 2014 and the SSC meeting will begin on April 29th.  Public comment will be accepted during the SSC meeting. Meeting location: Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel, 4381 Tanger Outlet Boulevard, North Charleston, SC 29418; phone 800/503-5762 or 843/744-4422. 

Advisory Panel Meeting Highlights

      With the exception of the Golden Crab Advisory Panel, all of the following advisory panel meetings will take place at the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel,4381 Tanger Outlet Boulevard, North Charleston, SC 29418; phone 800/503-5762 or 843/744-4422. 

March 19, 2014  - Dolphin Wahoo Advisory Panel Meeting 

     The AP will provide recommendations on measures proposed in Amendment 7 to the Dolphin Wahoo Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The amendment includes alternatives for allowing fillets of dolphin and wahoo to be transported from The Bahamas into the U. S. by recreational fishermen.  The AP will also review the draft Generic Accountability Measures and Dolphin Allocation Amendment that includes alternatives to modify allocations for dolphin between commercial and recreational sectors.  Both amendments are currently scheduled for public hearings in August 2014.

April 1-3, 2014 - Habitat Advisory Panel Meeting 

     Members of the AP will review the Council's Essential Fish Habitat Policies Statements addressing alternations to riverine, estuarine and nearshore flows, marine aquaculture and submerged aquatic vegetation.  The AP will provide recommendations on the policies as well as other habitat related issues.

April 7-8, 2014 - King and Spanish Mackerel Advisory Panel Meeting

     AP members will provide recommendations on two draft amendments to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics (mackerel) FMP.  Amendment 24 examines recreational and commercial allocations of Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel and Gulf migratory group king mackerel.  Amendment 26 to the FMP includes options to separate the commercial permits for Spanish mackerel and king mackerel into Atlantic and Gulf permits.

April 8-11, 2014 - Snapper Grouper Advisory Panel Meeting

     The AP will provide input on Amendment 29 to the Snapper Grouper FMP to specify Acceptable Biological Catch levels for species without stock assessments and where data is limited as well as proposed measures for gray triggerfish.  Members will also provide input on draft management alternatives proposed for snowy grouper and blueline tilefish, and modifications to the current seasonal closure for the commercial black sea bass pot fishery.  The AP will receive updates on activities relative to marine protected areas and provide recommendations on Regulatory Amendment 17 addressing the use of marine protected areas to help protect speckled hind and warsaw grouper.

May 2, 2014 - Golden Crab Advisory Panel Meeting

     Members of the AP will review management measures for the commercial golden crab fishery and provide recommendations.  Meeting location: Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott, 2081 Griffin Road, Dania Beach, FL 33312, Phone: 954-981-2700/Fax: 954-981-9125.

May 5-6, 2014 - Information and Education Advisory Panel Meeting

     The AP will receive updates on the Council's outreach activities and provide recommendations on a draft report relative to a 10-year re-evaluation of the Oculina Bank Experimental Closed Area off the coast of Ft. Pierce Florida.  The report includes updates on outreach, law enforcement and research activities within the area.  The AP meeting will also include a Science Communication Workshop.

May 6-7, 2014 - Deepwater Shrimp Advisory Panel Meeting

     The AP will receive a presentation on cooperate research options that the deepwater shrimp industry may consider that characterize fishery impacts relative to the Oculina Bank Habitat Area of Particular Concern. The AP members will discuss this and other management measures relative to the fishery.

May 7-8, 2014 - Coral Advisory Panel Meeting

     The AP will review the draft report relative to a10-year re-evaluation of the Oculina Bank Experimental Closed Area and provide recommendations.  Members will address other issues relative to coral management.