South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

The South Atlantic Bite

Newsworthy Notes – December 1, 2022

Have an Opinion? Public Comment Open for December Council Meeting Agenda Items

Red Snapper, Snowy Grouper, Gag, Black Grouper, Golden Tilefish, Blueline Tilefish, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Electric Reels, Single Hook Rigs, Release Mortality, Best Fishing Practices, Spanish Mackerel, King Mackerel, Little Tunny, Port Meetings, North Atlantic Right Whale Speed Zones, and Dolphin Stakeholder Workshops…

These are all topics that will be addressed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council when it convenes its December meeting next week at the Blockade Runner Resort Hotel in Wrightsville Beach, NC to address federal fishery management issues. In addition, the Council has scheduled a Climate Change Scenario Planning Workshop on Monday, December 5th as part of the week-long meeting.

The meeting will be held December 5-9th and is open to the public and available via webinar each day as it occurs. Register now to attend via webinar.

The Council will hold meetings of its Snapper Grouper Committee, Mackerel Cobia Committee, Outreach and Communications Committee, and meetings of the full Council throughout the meeting week.


Meeting materials, including committee agendas and overviews, documents, and presentations are available from the Council’s website at:

Provide Your Comments

Interested in an agenda topic? Take a few minutes to read relevant meeting materials available from the website. An easy-to-use online public comment form is currently available for you to share your thoughts, opinions, and suggestions. Comments are posted for both Council members and the public to view via the website.

A public comment session will be held Wednesday, December 7, 2022 beginning at 4 p.m. during the meeting, allowing for in-person and remote (via webinar) verbal public comment. Details are available from the website.

Data Buoys – Not Mooring Buoys Tying up to one of these could be costly for everyone

“Buoy Camera imagery detected a sports fishing vessel with tie-off lines attached to the buoy. Tie-off lines were clearly visible in some of the buoy camera images…Anomalies in the buoy wave data measurements supported some interference with the buoy during the time frame…”

This is the partial description included in a federal investigation of a vessel reportedly tied to a NOAA Data Buoy while fishing. There has been an increased number of tie-offs to Coastal Weather Buoys according to NOAA Office of General Counsel enforcement attorneys. This is especially true in the summer months when vessel traffic increases. However, boaters are cautioned year-round to avoid these data buoys and never use one for mooring.

The National Data Buoy Center has issued a Notice to Mariners outlining specific steps that mariners can take to safeguard buoys, critical to providing hourly reports of marine weather to the National Weather Service and other agencies. Take a moment to read the Notice and check out the valuable data available to fishermen and others from buoys in your area. Simply visit the National Data Buoy website, select your general area, zoom in using the interactive map, and find real-time data including wind direction and speed, temperatures, and ocean conditions from an extensive network of buoy stations.

Help protect these valuable buoys – please give them a wide berth the next time you are offshore and consider reporting to the Coast Guard if you see damage or see people tied off to them.

National Data Buoy Center
National Data Buoy Center

Reminder – Check out this special Citizen Science issue of Fisheries before it’s too late!

The November 2022 issue of the journal Fisheries from the American Fisheries Society is dedicated to citizen science, including an article on the Council’s FISHstory citizen science project!

This special issue of Fisheries is a collaborative effort between NOAA Fisheries and the Council and journal articles illustrate the variety of projects involving citizen science from Florida to Hawaii.

In addition to the FISHstory article, the Council’s Citizen Science staff also contributed to a feature column in the November issue, showing how the use of citizen science is on the rise and being used in fisheries management across the country.

Access to the online version of the journal is usually limited to AFS members, but the November 2022 issue of Fisheries is open for public access through December. Take advantage of this opportunity to see citizen science is at work! Learn more about the Council’s Citizen Science Program and the FISHstory project by visiting the Council’s website.

Additional Snippets:

NOAA Announces Establishment of a New Marine and Coastal Area-based Management Advisory Committee

NOAA recently announced the establishment of a new Marine and Coastal Area-based Management Advisory Committee, which will advise NOAA on science-based approaches to area-based protection, conservation, restoration, and management in marine and coastal areas, including the Great Lakes. NOAA is currently accepting nominations for the 20 members from a broad range of sectors, including commercial and recreational fishing, resource management agencies, ocean industry, conservation organizations, and more. Nominations are due by January 17, 2023. Learn more

What to do with an invasive fish? Make leather

Venomous lionfish are found throughout the Atlantic, Caribbean and the Mediterranean Sea, eating everything in their paths. See how this invasive species is being turned into “wickedly strong” handbags and belts and helping to save coral reefs in this article from PBS and NOVA.The Current.

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!

December 5-9, 2022

December Council Meeting

Blockade Runner Beach Resort

Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480

Webinar Registration