South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

The South Atlantic Bite

Newsworthy Notes – April 11th, 2024

Fishery Scientists Convene Next Week in Charleston, SC

Each of the eight regional fishery management councils in the U.S. has a Scientific and Statistical Committee, responsible for reviewing the scientific basis of council management plans and actions and to develop fishing level recommendations in accordance with national fisheries management guidelines. The SSC consists of biologists, stock assessment scientists, and others knowledgeable about the technical aspect of fisheries in the region.

Members of the South Atlantic Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) and the Socio-Economic Panel will meet next week in North Charleston, SC. The Socio-Economic Panel or SEP includes social scientists and economists who advise the Council on social and economic issues relevant to South Atlantic fisheries.

Meeting materials, including agendas, overviews, and presentations are available from the Council’s website as noted below. The meetings, to be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, are open to the public and available via webinar as they occur. An online public comment form for each meeting is also available.

Socio-Economic Panel Meeting

April 15-18

Webinar registration

Meeting Information

Scientific and Statistical Committee Meeting

April 16-19

Webinar registration

Meeting Information

Reminder! Council Seeks Applicants for Open Advisory Panel Seats

Interested in federal fisheries management and want to get more involved? Apply now for open seats on the Council’s advisory panels.

The Council’s advisory panels (APs) inform and advise the Council in development of federal fishery management plans and amendments. Members include recreational, commercial and for-hire fishermen, seafood dealers and processors, scientists, representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as environmental groups and fishing organizations, and concerned citizens.

Seats on APs may be allotted by state and fishery sector, with others considered “at large” and open to any interested person. Seats are currently available on the following advisory panels: Habitat and Ecosystem; Law Enforcement; Mackerel Cobia; Shrimp; Deepwater Shrimp; and Snapper Grouper. See the recent news release for details.

Learn more about all of the Council’s advisory panels and access the online application form by visiting the Council’s website. Applications must be received by Friday, April 26, 2024 for the Council to consider during its June 10-14, 2024 meeting in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida.

SAFMC Feature Article: Taking a More Adaptive Approach to Dolphin Management

Dolphin, Dolphinfish, Mahi Mahi or Dorado – regardless of the name, Dolphin are one of the most popular offshore fish targeted by recreational and commercial fishermen alike. Dolphin are managed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council in federal waters along the Atlantic coast, from Maine to Key West.

The high demand for Dolphin and recent concerns over user conflicts, highly variable availability, and international harvest, has sparked the need to consider a more flexible and adaptive management approach. Learn more about Dolphin management and how fishery managers are collaborating to address these challenges.

Reminder! SAFMC’s Best Fishing Practices Master Volunteer Program

Fishermen from Charleston to Savannah who fish for snapper grouper species in federal waters take note!

Plan now to attend an in-person two hour workshop in your area and be a part of the Council’s Best Fishing Practices (BFP) Master Volunteer Program (MVP). The workshops will focus on best practices that improve survival of released fish and how to get involved in the Council process, including Citizen Science projects.

Upcoming Workshops

All workshops are 6:00 pm-8:00 pm unless otherwise noted. 

April 25th: Charleston, SC

DNR Outdoor Classroom, 412-418 Fort Johnson Rd, Charleston, SC 29412 

May 7th: Myrtle Beach, SC

Bass Pro Shops Classroom, 10177 N Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572 

May 8th: Okatie, SC

Port Royal Maritime Center, 310 Okatie Hwy, Okatie, SC 29909 

May 29th: Savannah, GA

Georgia Southern Univ. Armstrong Center, 13040 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31419

Registration is encouraged due to limited seating. Please register here.

Additional workshops are planned in Florida and North Carolina in 2024. Learn more about the BFP Master Volunteer Program by visiting the Council’s website. Questions? Contact Ashley Oliver at

ACCSP Launches SciFish

New mobile app provides a single platform for multiple data collection projects

A new mobile application is now available to applicants interested in conducting scientific research by collecting and sharing data on Atlantic coast fisheries. Available from the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP), SciFish standardizes the collection of citizen science data from Atlantic coast fisheries by providing a single platform for multiple data collection projects. The project builder allows researchers to create new data collection projects with minimal resources.

Projects developed in SciFish will focus on collecting data for fisheries along the Atlantic coast to help address current data gaps and research needs. Additional information and details on how to apply to use the SciFish platform are available from this announcement from ACCSP. Note: pre-applications are due June 1, 2024.

SAFMC Release – SciFish at Work

Want to make a difference in your snapper grouper fishery here in the South Atlantic and help collect data on released fish? SAFMC Release empowers fishermen to provide details about released shallow water grouper and Red snapper using the SciFish mobile app!

Scientists can use information collected through SAFMC Release to better understand which of these fish are being released, what size they are, and how many survive. Learn more and set up your account today!

Additional Snippets:

NOAA Fisheries Seeks Comments for Three Applications for Exempted Fishing Permits to Test Management Strategies that Could Reduce Recreational Discards of South Atlantic Red Snapper

NOAA Fisheries is accepting comments on applications for exempted fishing permits (EFP) from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. The EFPs are required for three proposed projects that would test management strategies that could reduce discards of Red Snapper and other managed snapper-grouper species, create additional opportunities to participate in sustainable recreational harvest, and improve angler satisfaction. Details are available in the Fishery Bulletin from NOAA Fisheries. The comment period is open through April 22, 2024.

How Can We Rebuild the Stock of South Atlantic Red Snapper?

“Despite continuing efforts to rebuild the South Atlantic Red Snapper stock, overfishing continues, leaving scientists, managers, and fishers at a crossroads” explains David Hugo, Sea Grant’s South Atlantic Reef Fish and Communication Fellow in a recent post. “A group of researchers recently created a model to compare a suite of Red Snapper management approaches to one another and to assess whether they would end overfishing.” Read the post by NC Sea Grant in Hook, Line & Science to learn more.

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!

April 15 – 16, 2024

SSC Socio-Economic Panel Panel Meeting

Charleston, SC

Meeting Information

April 16 – 18, 2024

Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) Meeting

Charleston, SC

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 8, 2024

Outreach and Communications Advisory Panel Meeting

Via webinar

Meeting Information

May 22, 2024

Citizen Science Operations Committee Meeting

Via webinar

Meeting Information