South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

The South Atlantic Bite

Newsworthy Notes – January 18th, 2024

Law Enforcement Advisory Panel Meeting

Agenda includes tournament sales; compliance updates

January 29-30, 2024 | N. Charleston, SC | Webinar registration

The Council’s Law Enforcement Advisory Panel will meet in person to cover a broad range of topics, including a discussion of the sale of tournament-caught King Mackerel and Spanish Mackerel, as well as compliance updates on for-hire electronic reporting, use of descending devices, and marine protected areas and spawning special management zones. Advisory panel members will also receive an update on amendments to fishery management plans currently under development.

The meeting begins at 1 p.m. on Monday, January 29th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in North Charleston and is open to the public and available via webinar as it occurs. Meeting materials, including the agenda and overview, presentations, and documents are now available from the Council’s website. An online public comment form is also available.

The Law Enforcement AP advises the Council on the enforceability of proposed fishery regulations. The AP also connects partner enforcement agencies in the region (e.g., US Coast Guard) to promote communication regarding the enforcement of fishery regulations. Members include representatives from state and federal fisheries enforcement agencies and citizens representing recreational and commercial interests.

2024 Sea Grant Reef Fish Webinar Series

Tuesday, January 30th, February 13th, and February 27th at 6 p.m.

Tune in to an upcoming three-part Sea Grant webinar series focusing on ongoing reef fish research efforts in the South Atlantic. This biweekly series will include guest presentations on Reef Fish Surveying, The South Atlantic Red Snapper Research Program, and the Greater Amberjack Count, respectively. All presentations will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

January 30th – Reef Fish Surveying

Dr. Walter Bubley, SC Department of Natural Resources

February 13th – South Atlantic Red Snapper Research Program

Dr. Will Patterson, University of Florida

February 27th – Greater Amberjack Count

Dr. Sean Powers and Dr. Mark Albins, University of South Alabama

Click HERE to register for these webinars. All webinars begin at 6:00 p.m.

Fishing for Data – SAFMC Release Citizen Science Project Featured in Tide Magazine

Coastal Conservation Association publication promotes the project to members

The most recent copy of Tide Magazine includes a 2-page spread focusing on the advantages of participating in the Council’s Citizen Science Program’s SAFMC Release project. The article highlights how fishermen can be directly involved in collecting information about released fish to help fill data gaps for fisheries management.

SAFMC Release provides fishermen the opportunity to log crucial information on their released shallow water grouper species as well as Red Snapper. Fishermen collect information using the mobile app, SciFish. Data collected include length, depth released, optional location, observations of shark predation, and use of barotrauma reduction techniques – like descending devices

For example, observations of juvenile Gag Grouper were illustrated by a spike in the number of small Gag in a length distribution plot shown in the project’s annual data summary. Through SAFMC Release, the fishermen’s experience was translated from anecdotal evidence to data available to inform future stock assessments and management. Learn more and sign up today!

SAFMC Seminar Series: Reproductive Resilience in the Protogynous Gag Grouper

Tuesday, February 13, 2024 | 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. | Webinar registration

The Council’s Seminar Series continues in February with a presentation on the reproductive resilience in fish, which is the ability of a population to maintain reproductive success to produce long-term population stability. Fish managed by the Council have diverse reproductive strategies. These reproductive strategies, along with environmental variables and behavioral traits should be considered when developing assessments and management regulations. A case study on gag grouper will be presented.

The SAFMC Seminar Series features presentations on scientific studies relevant to fisheries in federal waters of the South Atlantic. The seminars are conducted via webinar and are open to members of the public. The presentations are also recorded and past presentations available from the Council’s website.

Additional Snippets:

NOAA, Partners Map and Discover World’s Largest Known Deep-sea Coral Reef Habitat

Covering 6.4 million acres, an area larger than Vermont, an underwater seascape of cold-water coral mounds offshore the southeast United States coast has been deemed the largest deep-sea coral reef habitat discovered to date, according to a paper recently published in the scientific journal Geomatics. See this recent article from NOAA Ocean Exploration to learn more, including an informative video with fascinating images about the project!

Resolve to Meet (and Eat) New Seafood

U.S. seafood is sustainable, nutritious – and delicious! Many Americans are familiar with only a fraction of the species that come from U.S. fisheries. Beyond staples like tuna, salmon, and cod, there are plenty of other fish in the sea that merit a place on our plates. Check out this article from NOAA Fisheries that includes beautiful images worthy of foodies and recipes too. There are even two species managed by the SAFMC – Triggerfish and Tilefish!

Mark Your Calendar

Keep track of meetings scheduled by the Council from the Meetings page of the website and register for meeting webinars as information becomes available. Register early and receive email reminders as the meeting date(s) approach!

January 29-20, 2024

Law Enforcement Advisory Panel Meeting

Charleston, SC

Meeting information

February 8, 2024

SAFMC Wreckfish Sub-Committee Meeting

Via webinar

Meeting information

February 9, 2024

Scientific and Statistical Committee Meeting

Via webinar

Meeting information

March 4-8, 2024

Council Meeting

Jekyll Island, GA

Council Meetings