South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

The South Atlantic Bite

King mackerel swims close to the surface.

Newsworthy Notes – February 14th, 2024

March Council Meeting Information and Reports Available

Members of the South Atlantic Council met last week in Jekyll Island, Georgia and discussed a broad range of topics, ranging from Black Sea Bass to reporting compliance in the for-hire fishery.

The meeting was open to the public and available via webinar. During the meeting, the Council discussed the recent stock assessment for Black Sea Bass showing the stock is overfished and substantial reductions are needed in both landings and the number of fish released. The Council reviewed Exempted Fishing Projects for Red Snapper proposed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and received an update on the 2024 Red Snapper season from NOAA Fisheries. A news release following the meeting captures some of the items discussed. Additional meeting details are included in the individual committee reports and reports from sessions of the Full Council, now posted on the March meeting webpage.

The South Atlantic Council meets four times each year, with the March meeting always in Georgia, the June meeting in Florida, the September meeting in South Carolina, and the December meeting in North Carolina. Meetings are scheduled a year in advance. The meeting is available via webinar as it occurs. Meeting materials are posted on the Council’s website two weeks prior to each meeting and include an online public comment form and webinar registration information. Archived meeting information is also available from the website.

Get to know your Council members and plan to attend an upcoming meeting this year. Note that a public comment session is held during each week-long Council meeting, generally on Wednesday afternoon. In-person and comments via webinar are accepted during the comment session.

The next Council meeting will be held June 10-14, 2024 in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida.

2024 Port Meetings Planned for King Mackerel and Spanish Mackerel Fisheries

North Carolina port meetings scheduled for April

If you fish for King Mackerel or Spanish Mackerel or are involved in the fisheries, its likely you’ve seen changes. What are you seeing now? How do you envision the future of these fisheries?

The Council manages King and Spanish Mackerel as well as other economically important fisheries. Members of the Council’s Mackerel Cobia Advisory Panel requested the Council hold a series of port meetings to gather more information and take a focused look at the fisheries given changing environmental conditions that alter fishery dynamics.

A series of port meetings is being hosted by the Council, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, and state partners along the Atlantic coast throughout 2024. Attendees will have the chance to actively discuss their perspectives with other fishery participants and local Council members. The port meetings offer a unique opportunity for stakeholders to share their insights and help determine the future of these fisheries.

The series of port meetings begins in April in North Carolina.

All meetings will be held from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

April 1, 2024

NC Division of Marine Fisheries

Southern District Office

127 Cardinal Drive Ext.

Wilmington, NC 28405

April 2, 2024

NC Division of Marine Fisheries

Central District Office

5285 Hwy 70 East

Morehead City, NC 28557

April 3, 2024

Hatteras Village Civic Center

6658 NC Hwy 12

Hatteras, NC 27943

April 4, 2024

Dare County Administrative Building

Board of Commissioners Meeting Room

954 Marshall C. Collins Dr.

Manteo, NC 27954

Additional 2024 port meetings are being planned to continue to reach fishermen and other stakeholders in New England, NY, the Mid-Atlantic, and along the South Atlantic coast. Additional efforts will also be taken by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

Learn more about the King Mackerel and Spanish Mackerel Port Meetings by visiting the Council’s website and sign up now if you wish to attend a meeting in North Carolina. Questions? Contact Christina Wiegand at

South Atlantic Reef Fish Extension/Communication Fellowship Accepting Applications

North Carolina Sea Grant is now accepting applications for the 2024 South Atlantic Reef Fish Extension/Communications Fellowship. The fellowship provides on-the-job education and training opportunities in reef fish extension and communication for an early-career professional in the southeast region.

Based in the Charleston area, the fellow will work under the guidance and supervision of Sea Grant fisheries extension specialists and the South Atlantic Council. This one-year fellowship offers a stipend ($50,000) and travel expense reimbursement. The fellow will work on projects that advance stakeholder understanding of reef fish issues and management, including advances in research related to Red Snapper, Greater Amberjack, and other managed reef fish.

Get details about this unique opportunity from NC Sea Grant and share the information with someone who may be interested! Note – the deadline for applications is Friday, March 22, 2024.

Additional Snippets:

Clarification of Paper Logbook Requirements for Southeast Commercial Fishing Permit Holders

NOAA Fisheries is clarifying requirements for commercial fishing permit holders in the Southeast. This applies to those holding Coastal Commercial Fishing Permits, Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Permits or any combination thereof. Vessels fishing with permits from multiple regions are required to comply with reporting requirements for all of those regions. Additional details are included in the Fishery Bulletin from NOAA Fisheries.

Wanchese Fish Co. Closure Marks Shift in North Carolina’s Commercial Fishing Landscape

After 88 years, a historic enterprise in a North Carolina fishing village will be shuttered on March 29. Cooke USA will close its production fish offloading and packing operations on Mill Landing Road, Wanchese. The family-owned enterprise was established in 1936 as a fish processing plant by W.R. Etheridge, a Wanchese fisherman from a centuries-old Outer Banks family. Read the details in the original story Coastal Review from the NC Coastal Federation and also covered in National Fisherman.

NOAA Fisheries Announces New Interagency Agreement with NASA to Support North Atlantic Right Whale Recovery Efforts

NOAA Fisheries recently announced a new $500,000 interagency agreement with NASA to support North Atlantic right whale recovery efforts using Inflation Reduction Act funds. See the Media Release from NOAA Fisheries to see how this collaboration will identify, advance, and develop new technologies related to satellite tag development and vessel strike risk reduction – one of the primary threats to the survival of North Atlantic right whales.

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!

March 26-28, 2024

Snapper Grouper Advisory Panel Meeting

Charleston, SC

Meeting Information

April 9, 2024

Snapper Grouper Rec Permitting and Reporting Advisory Panel Meeting

Via webinar

Meeting Information

April 22 -23, 2024

Habitat and Ecosystem Advisory Panel Meeting

Charleston, SC

Meeting Information

April 24 -25, 2024

Joint Shrimp and Deepwater Shrimp Advisory Panels Meeting

Charleston, SC

Meeting Information

May 7, 2024

Snapper Grouper Private Angler Advisory Panel Meeting

Via webinar

Meeting Information

May 22, 2024

Citizen Science Operations Committee Meeting

Via webinar

Meeting Information