South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

The South Atlantic Bite

Newsworthy Notes – December 20, 2023

Happy Holidays!

Mark Your Calendar Now – 2024 SAFMC Meetings

‘Tis the Season! We wish you and yours a joyous holiday season and a happy and healthy New Year! As you begin to think about schedules for 2024, please mark your calendar and plan to participate in the federal fishery management process by attending a Council meeting – either in person or via webinar.

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meets four times each year. The week-long meetings include committee meetings as well as meetings of the full Council. Meetings are held in Georgia in March, Florida in June, South Carolina in September, and North Carolina in December each year. The meeting schedule and locations are determined in advance. The 2024 meeting schedule is available from the Council’s website.

Meetings are open to the public and available via webinar as they occur. Meeting materials, including agendas/overviews and presentations, are available from the Council’s website two weeks prior to each meeting. An online public comment form is also posted and public comment is taken at each meeting.

December 2023 Meeting

Each Council meeting has an individual meeting page on the Council’s website where information is posted and archived. For example, the Council met December 4-8, 2023 in Beaufort, NC. The December 2023 meeting page includes meeting materials posted prior to the meeting and also provides individual committee reports at the end of the Council meeting week. You can quickly read the reports to better understand discussions and actions taken at the committee level.

news release is produced following each Council meeting and summary motions are also posted on the Council meeting web page. Public comments posted during the open comment period remain on the meeting page as well.

Mark your calendar now with the 2024 SAFMC Meeting Schedule and plan to join the Council as they continue to address federal fisheries issues in the New Year! Happy Holidays to All!

SAFMC Seminar Series: Wind Energy Development in the South Atlantic Region

Tuesday, January 9, 2024 | 1:00 p.m. | Webinar registration

The Council’s Seminar Series continues in 2024 with a presentation on wind energy development in the South Atlantic region. The presentation will provide information on three wind energy projects planned in the region and the potential impacts. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation during which members of the public will have the opportunity to participate in discussions.

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. Do you have suggestions for topics in the new year? Contact Dr. Chip Collier at

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. Please see below for the guest speaker lineup. All presentations will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

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.

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.

New SC Sea Grant Article Highlights Best Fishing Practices in Action

With an increasing number of anglers fishing in the South Atlantic, best fishing practices are now more important than ever. These practices include measures anglers can take to improve the chances that released fish live to fight another day.

This past September, Council staff and the Sea Grant Reef Fish Fellow headed offshore out of Isle of Palms, SC to demonstrate best fishing practices and citizen science efforts in real-time. They had an opportunity to showcase best practices like avoiding non-target species, having a descending device rigged and ready, and handling fish properly.

Tag along on this fishing trip with Captain Chuck Griffin and crew and check out the action captured in this article by Erica Hussey with SC. Sea Grant.

Photo: SC Sea Grant

Additional Snippets:

NOAA Fisheries Southeast For-Hire Integrated Electronic Reporting Program (SEFHIER) End-Of-Year Update

NOAA Fisheries recently released a Fishery Bulletin providing an update on the Southeast For-Hire Integrated Electronic Reporting Program, or SEFHIER. The program wrapped up its third year of required electronic logbooks for for-hire vessels holding federal permits. The Bulletin includes key program updates and reminders, presentation highlights, and additional program information. See the Fishery Bulletin for details.

Seabirds Can Help Predict the Size of Fish Stocks – If Only We’d Listen

The scientists who study terns, puffins, and other fish-eating birds are trying to get fisheries managers to heed their warnings. Seabirds are highly sensitive to changing ocean conditions and prey availability, earning them a reputation of sentinels of the sea. This article from Hakai Magazine explores how ornithologists from around the world are working to get managers to consider these warning signs.

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

March 4-8, 2024

Council Meeting

Jekyll Island, GA

Council Meetings