South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Council to Hold Public Hearings: ABC Control Rule; Management Measures for Snowy Grouper and Tilefish

Fishermen and others interested in federal fisheries issues are invited to participate in upcoming public hearings being held via webinar. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is soliciting input on management measures being proposed through three amendments to federal fishery management plans. In addition to the webinar hearings below, the Council will also take public comment as part of its September 12-16, 2022 meeting in Charleston, South Carolina.

Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) Amendment Public Hearing

Wednesday, August 24, 2022 at 6 p.m. via webinar

The ABC Control rule defines how scientific uncertainty and the Council’s risk tolerance are addressed in determining fishing level recommendations. These fishing level recommendations are made by the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) and may not be exceeded by the Council. Under Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act provisions, the Council is responsible for setting risk tolerance and the SSC is responsible for evaluating uncertainty and applying the ABC Control Rule.

The Council and its SSC developed an ABC Control Rule in 2008. The ABC Control Rule Amendment will update the control rule as it applies to the Dolphin WahooSnapper Grouper and Golden Crab fishery management plans. Measures proposed in the amendment will help distinguish uncertainty levels across various assessments, allow for consideration of developments in data poor stock assessment methods, and address mixed uncertainty evaluation and risk tolerance determination.

Photo credit: Relaks Fishing

Additionally, the amendment addresses the 2016 revised guidelines for National Standard 1 that increased the flexibility to regional fishery management councils by allowing carry-over of unharvested portions of annual catch limits (ACLs) and the phasing-in of catch level changes. Learn more and register now to attend the public hearing:

Snapper Grouper Amendments 51 and 52 Public Hearings

Tuesday, September 6 and Wednesday, September 7, 2022 at 6 p.m. via webinar

The Council is soliciting input on proposed measures to adjust catch levels for Snowy Grouper following the latest stock assessment update. The assessment found the stock remains overfished and is experiencing overfishing. A reduction in harvest of approximately 43% is needed to achieve the updated catch levels for Snowy Grouper. Amendment 51 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan will adjust catch levels, and contains alternatives to modify allocations between sectors, reduce the commercial trip limit, and modify the current recreational season (May 1 through August 31 with 1 per vessel/day) and recreational accountability measures for Snowy Grouper.

Snapper Grouper Amendment 52 adjusts catch levels for Golden Tilefish based on the latest stock assessment. Golden Tilefish are not overfished nor experiencing overfishing so an increase in catch levels is being considered. The amendment also includes changes to recreational management measures and accountability measures for Blueline Tilefish.

Register now to attend a public hearing webinar for Amendments 51 and 52. Presentations and background documents will be posted as they become available, along with an online public comment form: