South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

The South Atlantic Bite

Newsworthy Notes – October 19, 2023

Stakeholders Needed for 2024 Dolphin Management Strategy Evaluation

Scientists consider more adaptive approaches to Dolphinfish management

Fishermen and others knowledgeable and interested in Dolphin management along the Atlantic coast are being solicited to participate in a small stakeholder working group beginning in early 2024. This group of volunteers will continue work on the development of a Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) for the Dolphin fishery.

A series of workshops were held earlier in South Florida, southern New England, the Carolinas and Virginia, and via webinar to obtain input from commercial, recreational, and for-hire fishermen involved in the Dolphin fishery relative to the development of the MSE. A management strategy evaluation is defined as “the stress-testing of various management procedures to ensure that they maximize stakeholder and management objectives and that they will succeed in the face of potential current and future uncertainty”.

Volunteers are needed to participate in an MSE stakeholder working group in 2024. Selected members will work with MSE analysts to refine initial management procedures, finalize and rank management objectives, and provide input on management procedure performance. Participants selected for the work group will represent their regions and sector, and will be asked to participate in 5-10 one-hour webinars throughout 2024.

Learn more in this feature article from NOAA Fisheries and apply online. Applications must be received by October 27, 2023.

New Catch Limits Proposed for Atlantic Migratory Group Spanish Mackerel

Public Scoping Meetings | October 30 and November 1, 2023 | 6 p.m. via webinar

Atlantic migratory group Spanish Mackerel are managed in federal waters from the Miami/Dade County line in southeast Florida northward along the Atlantic coast to a line extending from the intersection point of New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. A popular nearshore species for both commercial and recreational fishermen, the stock is not overfished nor undergoing overfishing.

Changes to catch levels for Atlantic Spanish Mackerel are being considered based on Acceptable Biological Catch Limits set by the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee. The Council is seeking pubic input before moving forward with catch level changes through Framework Amendment 13 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan.

Public Scoping Webinars

The Council will hold two scoping sessions via webinar on Monday, October 30 and Wednesday, November 1, 2023 beginning at 6 p.m. Council staff will review the actions being considered in Framework Amendment 13, answer questions and a Council member will take comments.

The Public Scoping Summary and CMP Framework Amendment 13 Scoping Presentation is now available at: An online public comment form is also now available from the website.

Scientific and Statistical Committee Meeting

October 24-26, 2023 | Town and Country Inn | Charleston, SC

Fishery scientists will convene in Charleston, SC later this month as the Council holds a meeting of its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) October 24-26, 2023. The meeting is open to the public and available via webinar as it occurs. Registration is required.

The SSC is responsible for reviewing the scientific basis of Council management plans and actions to develop fishing level recommendations in accordance with national fisheries management guidelines. SSC members also play a key role in developing stock assessments for Council managed resources through participation in the Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) Program.

Agenda topics include a review of the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) Fishing Effort Pilot Study and evaluating measurement error in the MRIP Fishing Effort Survey, discussions of Black Sea Bass, Vermilion Snapper, Florida Hogfish, and Yellowtail Snapper, Climate Change Scenario Planning, and several other items relative to federal fisheries management in the southeast.

Additional Information

The briefing book materials, including the meeting agenda, overview, and presentations, and an online public comment form are now available from the Council’s website:

Regulation Changes in October

Know before you go with Fish Rules

Keeping up with the latest fishing regulations can be a challenge. For example, Gag harvest closes in federal waters in the South Atlantic beginning October 23rd for both recreational and commercial sectors. Beginning October 26th, the commercial minimum size limit for Greater Amberjack decreases from 36 inches to 34 inches fork length.

Stay up to date and take the latest regulations with you on your next fishing trip, no matter how far offshore! It’s simple – download the free Fish Rules mobile app and have the regulations at your fingertips.

The Fish Rules app uses your phone’s GPS and calendar to show only the regulations you need. Out to sea with no signal? Manually set your fishing location to see relevant regulations. The app includes great photos to help with fish ID and lots more features. Learn more at:

October is National Seafood Month – 7 Ways to Celebrate

October is recognized as the start to the autumn season and is also National Seafood Month. The United States is recognized as a global leader in sustainable seafood for both wild-caught and farmed species. U.S. fishermen and fish farmers operate under some of the most robust and transparent environmental standards in the world. To celebrate sustainable seafood, NOAA Fisheries is offering new features, videos, and podcasts this month.

There’s a lot to celebrate because – aside from being scrumptious – seafood is good for you, good for the economy, and good for the planet. Here in the southeast region there are many options. For example, local shrimp are available almost year round, highly versatile in recipes, and buying local helps to support an industry struggling with competition from imports. Check out this feature on 7 Ways to Celebrate National Seafood Month.

Support your local seafood dealer, ask for domestic product -and add seafood to your tailgate menu this weekend!

Additional Snippets:

Reminder – Deadline Approaching: NOAA Fisheries is Requesting Proposals on Innovative Strategies to Reduce Red Snapper Discards in the South Atlantic

NOAA Fisheries is requesting proposals on innovative strategies to reduce red snapper discards in the South Atlantic. The agency intends to fund projects that explore new approaches to better understand and reduce red snapper dead discards and increase fishing opportunities in the snapper-grouper fishery. There are up to $880,000 in federal funds available for projects in fiscal year 2024. Complete proposals are due by 5 p.m. Eastern November 6, 2023. See the Fishery Bulletin from NOAA Fisheries for additional details.

2023 Recreational Fisheries Economic Constituent Workshop Report Now Available

Recognizing the need for robust economic analysis to inform fisheries management, NOAA Fisheries hosted its second Recreational Fisheries Economic Constituent Workshop in April 2023. The workshop built upon discussions held at a previous 2014 workshop, as well as the 2018 and 2022 National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Summits. Learn more and access the final report with workshop proceedings, topics, discussions and key takeaways.

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!

October 24-26, 2023

Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) Meeting

Charleston, SC

Meeting information

October 30 and November 1, 2023

CMP Framework Amendment 13 (Atlantic Spanish Mackerel) Public Scoping

Scoping via webinars – 6 p.m.

November 1-3, 2023

Habitat Advisory Panel Meeting

Charleston, SC

Webinar registration

November 6-7, 2023

Dolphin Wahoo Advisory Panel Meeting

Charleston, SC

Webinar registration

November 7-8, 2023

Mackerel Cobia Advisory Panel Meeting

Charleston, SC

Webinar registration