South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

The South Atlantic Bite

Newsworthy Notes – May 9th, 2024

SAFMC Seminar Series: Electronic Self-Reporting Programs in Recreational Fisheries

Join in via webinar as the Council’s Seminar Series continues in May with a presentation on electronic self-reporting programs in U.S. marine recreational fisheries by staff from The Nature Conservancy. The presentation will include information on the “appscape” used to collect information from recreational fisheries and identify successes, challenges, and lessons learned.

The seminar series features presentations on scientific studies relevant to fisheries in South Atlantic federal waters. The seminars are conducted via webinar and available to the public. Following the presentation, members of the public have an opportunity to participate in discussions.

Looking for prior webinars? Each seminar presentation is recorded and available from the Council’s website. The Seminar Series has covered a broad range of topics, ranging from larval dispersal in Spawning Special Management Zones, artificial reefs, a history of the rock shrimp fishery, shark depredation, estimating release mortality in reef fishes, and wind development just to name a few. Check out the long list of topics!

Reeling in an amberjack.

Mackerel Port Meetings Scheduled to Solicit Input from New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishermen and Other Stakeholders

Fishermen and others interested in the King Mackerel and Spanish Mackerel fisheries will have a unique opportunity to share their perspectives and vision for the future of these fisheries at port meetings scheduled for 2024.

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council manages King and Spanish Mackerel along the Atlantic coast in federal waters from Florida through New York. Members of the South Atlantic 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.

Port meetings were held in North Carolina in April. A series of port meetings via webinar are scheduled for next week to gather input from the New England region, specifically Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. An in-person port meeting in June will focus on input from from fishermen and other stakeholders in New York.

New England Port Meetings via webinar

  • Tuesday, May 14
  • Wednesday, May 15
  • Thursday, May 16

Webinar registration information is available from the SAFMC website.

June 4, 2024 (In person)

Two dead Spanish mackerel laying next to each other.
King mackerel swims close to the surface.

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting

Atlantis Banquets and Events

431 East Main Street

Riverland, NY 11901

Learn more about the King Mackerel and Spanish Mackerel Port Meetings by visiting the Council’s websiteQuestions? Contact Christina Wiegand at

SAFMC’s Best Fishing Practices Master Volunteer Program – Savannah

The spring series of BFP MVP workshops designed for fishermen who fish for snapper grouper species in federal waters will conclude the end of May with an in-person two hour workshop in Savannah. The workshop will focus on best practices that improve survival of released fish and how to get involved in the Council process, including Citizen Science projects.

May 29, 2024 | GA Southern University Armstrong Center | 13040 Abercorn Street | Savannah, GA

Registration is encouraged. Please register here. Additional workshops are planned in Florida and North Carolina later in 2024. Learn more about the BFP Master Volunteer Program by visiting the Council’s website.

Questions? Contact Ashley Oliver at

SAFMC Citizen Science Program 2023 Annual Report Highlights Key Activities and Accomplishments

The the Council’s Citizen Science Program recently released its 2023 Annual Report. The report includes updated research priorities, contributions by the program’s staff to symposia and conferences focused on citizen science, as well as project highlights.

The SAFMC Release project works with recreational, for-hire, and commercial fishermen to gather information on released shallow water grouper and Red Snapper. The program launched a participant recognition program in 2023. A SAFMC Release 2023 Data Summary is also available as part of the annual report.

Other projects highlighted in the report include FISHstory, a crowd sourcing project using historic fishing photos to better understand the species and size of fish caught by for-hire fisheries before the start of dedicated catch monitoring programs. Volunteers help identify and count fish in historic photos. Scientists can use this information to document the beginnings of the for-hire fishery here in the South Atlantic.

Learn more about the SAFMC Citizen Science Program and how you can get involved.

Citizen Science Idea Portal Now Online

Have an idea for a citizen science project? Share your idea using the Council’s Citizen Science Project Idea Portal! Your expertise could lead to the next citizen science project that fills key data gaps for South Atlantic fisheries.

Learn more and access the portal by visiting the Council’s website.

Additional Snippets:

NOAA Fisheries Queen Conch Recovery Workshop – May 22, 2024

NOAA Fisheries has listed queen queen conch as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and is now in the process of developing a recovery plan for queen conch. This includes hosting a series of workshops throughout the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Florida. A workshop is scheduled at the Broward County Main Library Auditorium in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Wednesday, May 22 from 1 – 5 p.m. For information, contact Orian Tzadik at *813)906-0353 or For information on queen conch:

Special Funding Opportunities for Marine Debris Removal

Two funding opportunities are available to remove marine debris and derelict fishing traps. The NOAA Marine Debris Program is supporting the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences in solicitation for proposals under their Nationwide Fishing Trap Program. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is also seeking applications for grants to remove marine debris from coastal communities, including those in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina impacted by hurricanes. See the NOAA Fishery Bulletin for details and deadlines.

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!

May 14, 15, 16, 2024

Mackerel Port Meetings via Webinar (New England States)

Meeting Information

May 22, 2024

Citizen Science Operations Committee Meeting

Via webinar

Meeting Information

June 10-14, 2024

SAFMC June Meeting

Daytona Beach Shores, FL

Meeting information