South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

The South Atlantic Bite

School of yellowtail snapper swimming in blue water.

Newsworthy Notes

Fishery Scientists from South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico to Meet August 4th

Southeastern Yellowtail Snapper and South Atlantic Spanish Mackerel top the agenda.

Southeastern Yellowtail Snapper

Fishing level recommendations for Yellowtail Snapper in federal waters will be addressed during a joint meeting of the Scientific and Statistical Committees from both the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. The joint webinar meeting is scheduled for the morning of Thursday, August 4th.

Yellowtail Snapper are an economically important species, targeted by both recreational and commercial fishermen in southern Florida and the Florida Keys. The stock is not considered overfished nor undergoing overfishing according to the latest stock assessment. The assessment was reviewed by the SSCs in 2020 and fishing level recommendations provided. Updates to the data will be addressed during the joint meeting, and new fishing level recommendations for Yellowtail Snapper in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico are expected.

South Atlantic Spanish Mackerel

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s SSC will meet on Thursday afternoon to discuss the most recent stock assessment for South Atlantic Spanish Mackerel. The assessment was completed in May 2022 through the Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review stock assessment process (SEDAR 78). The SSC will review the stock assessment report and provide recommendations on whether the assessment is best available science, if the assessment is useful for management purposes, and provide fishing level recommendations

Additional meeting information, include the meeting agendabriefing materialsonline public comment form, and the webinar registration link is available at:

SAFMC Seminar Series: FISHstory Using Citizen Science to Describe Historic Catches

Tuesday, August 9: 1-2:30 p.m. via webinar

Historic photos are being used to help unlock the history of South Atlantic fisheries. See how the Council’s Citizen Science project FISHstory utilizes historic photos to better understand the species and size of fish caught by for-hire fisheries before the start of dedicated monitoring programs.

Register now for the next SAFMC Seminar Series scheduled for Tuesday, August 9th featuring FISHstory and learn over lunch! The August seminar will focus on describing the catch from historical photographs taken in the Daytona Beach area, the technique used to estimate lengths of king mackerel in the photos, and lessons learned during the pilot project. Learn more about FISHstory and the SAFMC Citizen Science projects.

The Council’s Seminar Series features presentations on scientific studies relevant to fisheries in federal waters of the South Atlantic. The informal webinars include a question and answer session following each presentation. Copies of previous seminars are also available from the website.

Proposed Designation of Hudson Canyon as National Marine Sanctuary

Dolphin and mackerel stocks may be impacted.

The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries will hold a virtual public meeting on Wednesday, August 3rd from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. ET to gather public input on a proposal to designate the Hudson Canyon as a National Marine Sanctuary. The meeting is part of an ongoing effort to obtain public input during the scoping process.

The Hudson Canyon is the largest submarine canyon along the U.S. Atlantic coast, beginning approximately 100 miles southeast of New York City and extending about 350 miles seaward, reaching depths of 2.5 miles, and is 7.5 miles wide. It is an ecological hot spot for a vast array of marine life, one of several reasons the area is proposed as a national marine sanctuary.

Two of the South Atlantic Council’s Fishery Management Plans extend into the proposed designation area: the Dolphin Wahoo FMP and the FMP for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources (King and Spanish Mackerel). The Council will consider input from its advisory panels later this year before providing formal public comment on the proposal.

To learn more about what is being proposed and to register for the webinar, visit the website for the Proposed Designation of Hudson Canyon National Marine Sanctuary.

Additional Snippets:

Deadline Extended for Comments: NOAA Fisheries’ Draft Strategy for Advancing Equity and Environmental Justice

The deadline has been extended until August 31, 2022 for providing feedback on NOAA Fisheries’ draft Equality and Environmental Justice Strategy. The strategy is designed to reflect NOAA Fisheries’ commitment to advancing equity and environmental justice, including equal treatmentopportunities, and environmental benefits for all people and communities, while building on continuing efforts and partnerships with underserved and underrepresented communities. Learn more

BOEM Seeks Public Comment on Draft Fisheries Mitigation Strategy

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced the availability of draft guidance on mitigating potential impacts of offshore wind development on commercial and recreational fishing and is inviting public review and comment on the draft. The public comment period is open until August 22, 2022Note! A public webinar meeting for the East Coast will be held Monday, July 11th from 9 – 11 a.m. Learn more:

Could Human Pee Be the Key to Saving Seagrass?

Treating wastewater creates struvite – a nutrient-rich crystal that might just be the key to bolstering struggling seagrass beds. See this recent article from Hakai Magazine highlighting research being conducted at the University of Florida and how biochemists have hit on an unexpected key in spurring the effectiveness of recovering seagrass ecosystems!

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!

August 4, 2022

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Joint South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Scientific and Statistical Committees Meeting

Webinar Registration

August 9, 2022

1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

SAFMC Webinar Series: FISHstory – Using Citizen Science to Describe Historic Catches

Webinar registration

August 24, 2022

6 p.m. (webinar)

Public Hearing: Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) Control Rule Amendment

September 6 & 7, 2022

6 p.m. (via webinar – 2 sessions)

Snapper Grouper Amendment 51 (Snowy Grouper) and Amendment 52 (Golden Tilefish and Blueline Tilefish)

September 12-16, 2022

SAFMC September Meeting

Town & Country Inn

Charleston, SC 29407