Newsworthy Notes – June 8, 2023
Reminder – Public Comment Opportunities for June 12-16 Council Meeting in St. Augustine, FL
Members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold their quarterly meeting June 12-16, 2023 at the World Golf Village Renaissance in St. Augustine, Florida. During the week-long meeting, Council members will discuss a broad range of federal fishery management issues.
Agenda items include the Council’s Citizen Science Program as well as management of King and Spanish Mackerel, Dolphin, and species within the Snapper Grouper Management Complex, including Black Sea Bass, Yellowtail Snapper, Scamp, Yellowmouth Grouper, and the Wreckfish fishery.
Council members will also discuss options for a private recreational permit for the snapper grouper fishery and educational requirements, along with updates on an amendment to implement commercial electronic logbooks, research recommendations, equity and environmental justice, spawning special management zones, and space operations off of Florida.
There are many topics affecting federal fisheries here in the South Atlantic region, and opportunities for you to follow Council discussion and provide comments.
Providing Public Comment
Public comment is an important part of the management process and there are multiple ways to provide comments before and during each meeting. All of the June 2023 meeting materials are now available from the Council’s website. Take a moment to review the materials (hint – read the “Agenda and Overview” posted for each committee to get a quick synopsis of items to be discussed). Then look for the bright orange button at the top of the page to access the online public comment form. The form is easy to use and comments are posted immediately for Council members and the public to view.
The Council will also hold a public comment session on Wednesday, June 14th beginning at 4:00 p.m. that will allow for in-person and remote (via webinar) verbal public comment. Details are available from the meeting page of the website. Sign up now or plan to attend in person!
The meetings are open to the public as noted on the agenda and available via webinar as they occur. Register now and receive email reminders for the upcoming meeting.
Apply Now to Attend the MREP Southeast 2023 Workshop
November 13-17 in St. Petersburg, Florida
Where do fisheries data come from? How are the data used by fishery managers translated into regulations?
Get the answers to these and many other questions by applying now to attend this year’s Marine Resources Education Program (MREP) Southeast Workshop, scheduled for November 13-18, 2023 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Developed by fishermen, for fishermen, MREP provides fishermen and others who are interested in federal fisheries with an opportunity to gain insight into how fisheries data are collected and how federal regulations are made. The program is administered by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and available in various regions across the U.S.
MREP Southeast brings together commercial, charter, and recreational fishermen with scientists, managers, and other marine resource professionals from the South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean to learn, share insights, and network in a neutral and professional setting. Participants leave the program empowered and better prepared to be a voice in federal fisheries management.
The 5-day workshop is free to selected participants and includes travel reimbursement, hotel accommodations, and meals. Seats are limited, and preference will be given to applications received by July 1st.
Applications to participate can be found at: https://mrep.gmri.org/apply
The program principals are available to respond to inquiries about the workshop:
- Ira Laks, Charter Captain F/V Relaks, (561) 719-8857
- Dylan Hubbard, Owner, Hubbard’s Marina, (727) 420-9485
Webinar Series: Developing Offshore Wind in U.S. Waters Part 1 – The Planning and Regulatory Framework
The NOAA National MPA Center and the Open Communications for the Oceans (OCTO) will host a webinar on Wednesday, July 19, 2023 beginning at 12:00 noon EST focusing on ocean wind in U.S. waters. Part 1 of the webinar series will explore the historical and policy background and framing behind the U.S. wind energy transition, including an introduction to the planning and regulation processes and the players involved. This webinar will set the groundwork for future discussions exploring offshore wind energy, its future in US waters, and its compatibility and interactions with marine protected areas and other ocean uses. Learn more and register here.
NOAA Fisheries Releases Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Potentially Revise Guidelines for National Standards 4, 8, and 9
NOAA Fisheries is releasing advance notice of a proposed rule and seeking public comment on the need for potential revisions to the Guidelines for National Standards 4, 8 and 9 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Since the National Standards 4.8, and 9 Guidelines were last revised, a number of fishery management issues – including those related to climate-ready fisheries and equity and environmental justice – suggest a need to revisit the guidelines to ensure they remain appropriate for current U.S. fisheries management. Comments are being accepted until September 12, 2023. Read more
Request for Comments: Changes to Catch Levels, Sector Allocations, and Recreational Accountability Measures and Fishing Season for Snowy Grouper in the South Atlantic
NOAA Fisheries is requesting comments on the notice of availability and proposed rule for Amendment 51 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan. The latest population assessment determined South Atlantic Snowy Grouper are overfished and undergoing overfishing. Details on the proposed changes are available from the Fishery Bulletin issued by NOAA Fisheries. Comments are due by July 21, 2023.
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!
June 12-16, 2023
St. Augustine, FL