South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

The South Atlantic Bite

Black sea bass floats over a rocky bottom.

Newsworthy Notes – February 6th, 2024

Scientific and Statistical Committee Meeting

Agenda, meeting materials, and online comment form are now available

February 9, 2024 | Webinar registration

The Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) will meet on Friday, February 9th from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. via webinar. Meeting information, including the agenda and overview, presentations, and an online public comment form are now available from the Council’s website. Public comment will also be taken during the meeting. The SSC is responsible for reviewing the science to support management actions to make fishing-level recommendations.

The meeting agenda includes a discussion of the latest stock assessment for Black Sea Bass conducted through the Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) process and an update on the Management Strategy Evaluation for the Snapper Grouper Fishery. The SSC will also discuss the Terms of Reference and stock assessment schedules for both Red Snapper and Yellowtail Snapper.

Two black sea bass swim over coral and sponges.

The SSC is comprised of biologists, stock assessment scientists, economists, social scientists, and natural resource specialists from academic institutions and state and federal agencies. Learn more about the role of the SSC in fisheries management and its current members:

Sixty Miles Offshore – A First-Hand Account of Research on the R/V Palmetto

A Sea Grant fellow shares his experiences on a science vessel – deploying traps, sampling fish, and acclimating to life on the Atlantic.

“The trap glided to the ocean floor…I sat and watched in awe as the trap became shrouded in a city busting with everything from crowds of curious vermilion snapper and triggerfish to wandering hogfish and wary grouper,” writes David Hugo, Sea Grant’s South Atlantic Reef Fish Extension and Communication Fellow. “I was watching what I call ‘fish film’ – a compilation of underwater videos collected from traps deployed during my reef fish surveying experience onboard the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ R/V Palmetto.”

Join David as he describes first-hand the 12-hour shifts deploying traps and working up fish in the latest all-digital issue of NC Sea Grant’s Coastwatch. David takes us onboard to gain a better understanding of how the traps and cameras are used to collect data on reef fish in the South Atlantic. He provides an insider’s view as data are recorded and biological samples are taken for future analyses. Check out the article for details about this round-the-clock research excursion, including photos and an underwater video taken from a trap-mounted camera!

2024 Sea Grant Reef Fish Webinar Series Continues in February

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

The first in a series of three seminars was well attended in January as Dr. Walter Bubley with the SC Department of Natural Resources provided an overview of ongoing reef fish surveys and answered questions from attendees.

The seminar series continues on Tuesday, February 13th with a closer look at Red Snapper research being conducted here in the South Atlantic. Register now to attend the biweekly Sea Grant webinar series focusing on ongoing reef fish research efforts in the South Atlantic. All presentations will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Want more information? Check out this latest feature from NC Sea Grant.

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.

Reminder! Register Now for the 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 Fisheries Announces Recreational Fishing Data Collection Priorities for 2024

On January 24th NOAA Fisheries announced its 2024 priorities for saltwater recreational fishing data collection. These priorities support unique regional needs as well as stock assessments and sustainable fisheries management nationwide. The priorities are developed by teams of regional fisheries information networks, fishery management councils, interstate marine fisheries commissions, state partners, and NOAA Fisheries. See the NOAA Fisheries Newscast for details.

Are Fish Noisier Today Than They Used to Be?

Ever caught a croaker and heard that weird purring sound? Croaker, along with many other fish such as drum, toadfish and grouper, make noise by oscilating their swim bladder. Ambient sounds and communication within and across species are important to fish and invertebrate survival. This recent article from NC Sea Grant Coastwatch highlights how, using a new acoustic recording device, a research team captured the underwater soundscape and compared it to recordings that the U.S. Navy made decades ago.

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!

February 8, 2024

SAFMC Wreckfish Sub-Committee Meeting

Via webinar

Meeting information

February 9, 2024

Scientific and Statistical Committee Meeting

Via webinar

Meeting information

February 13, 2024

SAFMC Seminar Series

Via webinar

Seminar Information

March 4-8, 2024

Council Meeting

Jekyll Island, GA

Council Meetings