Chair’s Column: Fall 2019

(NEWSLETTER - Fall 2019)


If you have been paying attention to emails from the Council, you already know we have great news to share.  First off, the Council approved the Snapper Grouper Best Fishing Practices amendment at their September meeting.  The Council and staff worked long and hard to craft an amendment to provide measures, like requiring descending devices, that will improve the sustainability of released snapper grouper species.  But it wasn’t just the Council alone who helped move this amendment across the goal line.  Many of you—recreational anglers, commercial fishermen, and those who care about the long-term well-being of our marine fisheries resources—stepped up in support of these common-sense measures to benefit our fish stocks.  Thank you to everyone who already uses or helped test descending devices, and those who took the time to submit input online or give comments during a webinar or Council meeting.  Your voices matter and we appreciate your support of our efforts.  Before the regulations in this amendment take effect, they must be approved by the the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.  In case you missed it, you can read more about the pending measures here:


The second bit of good news is that NOAA Fisheries acted on the Council’s request to increase the king mackerel commercial trip limit in some areas from 50 fish to 75 fish for the winter season.  This increase, through a rare emergency action, should make commercial king mackerel fishing trips off Volusia through Miami-Dade counties economically feasible and provide the commercial fishery a chance to catch their quota.  This request for emergency action was spurred on by input from the Council’s Mackerel Cobia Advisory Panel.


Advisory Panel members serve as co-managers of our federal fish stocks by providing real-time insight into the fisheries in which they participate in or care about.  Those who serve on Advisory Panels, also known as APs, represent broad interests within Council-managed fisheries, including recreational, commercial, wholesale, and environmental.  Collectively, these diverse representatives provide the Council invaluable advice and insight when making fishery management decisions.


Currently, the Council has seats open on the Dolphin Wahoo, Mackerel Cobia, Habitat, and Information and Education advisory panels.  Would you or someone you know be a good candidate to serve as an advisor to the Council?  Or would you like to learn more about serving on an AP?  If so, information about the AP seats and application forms can be found here:  If you have questions, please contact Kim Iverson, Public Information Officer, at, or (843) 302-8440


Thanks again to everyone who works with us to maintain and improve the sustainability of the South Atlantic marine fisheries resources.  We genuinely appreciate you!


Tight lines,

Jessica McCawley

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