South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

The South Atlantic Bite

Council Member, Laurilee Thomson, holding her camera on a beach.

Newsworthy Notes – September 20, 2023

SAFMC Seminar Series: An Oral History of the Rock Shrimp Fishery

Tuesday, October 10 | 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. via webinar

The Council’s Seminar Series continues in October as Council member Laurilee Thompson provides an oral history of the rock shrimp fishery, including her unique perspective as the daughter of Rodney Thompson, the man who pioneered the fishery off the coast of Cape Canaveral in the 1960s into the fishery it is today.

Join the seminar as Laurilee shares how her family members were the first to begin harvesting rock shrimp and experimented with “processing” the shrimp with the rock-hard shells around the family’s kitchen table. That experience grew into a family industry that includes the world-famous Dixie Crossroads Restaurant in Titusville, Florida and Wild Ocean Seafood, where Laurilee’s sister Sherri continues the tradition of the family seafood market.

The seminar will also focus on the history of management of the rock shrimp fishery, including the effect of regulations and innovations used in the fishery. Register now to attend the webinar and learn over lunch while Laurilee shares her first-hand experience as a young woman growing up at the helm. Webinar participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in discussions following the presentation.

Past Seminars Available Online

Miss an earlier seminar? There is a library of previous seminars available from the Council’s website. Topics include:

  • On-demand gear for the South Atlantic Black Sea Bass Pot Fishery
  • Florida’s State Reef Fish Survey
  • Angler’s Release Practices and Attitudes Toward Descending Devices
  • Larval Dispersal from Spawning Special Management Zones

There are many more topics of interest in past seminars. Check out the video presentations:

September Council Meeting Wrap-Up

Meetings of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council are available online via webinar as they occur and open to the public, with the exception of advertised closed sessions.

If you missed last week’s Council meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, there are resources to help you better understand the Council’s discussions and management decisions throughout the meeting week. Following the meeting, committee reports and reports from Full Council sessions are posted at the top of the meeting page. A news release is also provided following each Council meeting.

Briefing materials, including documents and presentations, are always posted two weeks prior to the meeting. Reviewing the committee agendas and overviews is a helpful way to better understand agenda items. An online public comment form is posted with the meeting materials. Public comment is also taken during the meeting on Wednesday afternoon of the meeting week, both in-person and via webinar.

Members of the South Atlantic Council meet four times each year, once in each state. The meetings are scheduled a year in advance and each meeting has a dedicated webpage. Learn more:

State Record Red Hind Certified in NC

Shallow water grouper guide helps fishermen identify species, including Red Hind

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries recently certified a new state record Red Hind (Epinephelus guttatus). Christopher Rocci of Morehead City caught the

10-pound, 2.4 ounce fish 45 miles offshore of Beaufort Inlet on July 27. The previous state record weighed 9 pounds, 12.1 ounces, and was caught off Wrightsville Beach earlier this year. Rocci’s fish measured 25.5 inches total length and had a 20.25 inch girth. Congratulations Christopher!

Red hind are one of 10 grouper included in the Council’s shallow water grouper management complex, which can be difficult to identify. Check out the Council’s Shallow Water Grouper Species ID Guide for photos and tips to identify these species.

Learn more about the Council’s SAFMC Release Citizen Science project that partners with commercial, for-hire, and recreational fishermen to collect information on shallow water grouper and Red Snapper using the mobile app, SciFish. Set up your account today!

Additional Snippets:

Notice of Funding Opportunity: NOAA Fisheries is Requesting Proposals on Innovative Strategies to Reduce Red Snapper Discards in the South Atlantic

NOAA Fisheries is requesting proposals on innovative strategies to reduce red snapper discards in the South Atlantic. The agency intends to fund projects that explore new approaches to better understand and reduce red snapper dead discards and increase fishing opportunities in the snapper-grouper fishery. There are up to $880,000 in federal funds available for projects in fiscal year 2024. Complete proposals are due by 5 p.m. Eastern November 6, 2023. See the Fishery Bulletin from NOAA Fisheries for additional details

NOAA Fisheries Webinar: Using Magnuson-Stevens Authority for Fisheries in the Geographic Area of More than One Council

In anticipation of an increasing number of fish stocks shifting in geographic distribution, new fisheries emerging, and other demographic shifts in fisheries, NOAA Fisheries has identified a need to set forth a consistent and transparent plan for identifying the geographic scope of fisheries and determining which regional fishery management council(s) will be responsible for fisheries that have extended or moved beyond the geographic area of authority of any one council or across council boundaries. NOAA Fisheries will conduct a public webinar September 27, 2023 from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. to provide information on this effort. Learn more from NOAA Fisheries .

What is the Sargasso Sea?

The Sargasso Sea, located entirely within the Atlantic Ocean, is the only sea without a land boundary. It is a vast patch of ocean named for a genus of free-floating seaweed called Sargassum. Fishermen often look for these “weed lines” and the fish and other creatures associated with this essential habitat. Learn more about Sargassum and the Sargasso Sea in this feature from the National Ocean Service.

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!

October 4-5, 2023

Outreach and Communications Advisory Panel Meeting

Charleston, SC

Webinar Registration

October 10-12, 2023

Snapper Grouper Advisory Panel Meeting

Charleston, SC

Webinar Registration

October 24-26, 2023

Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) Meeting

Charleston, SC

Webinar Registration

November 1-3, 2023

Habitat Advisory Panel Meeting

Charleston, SC

Webinar Registration

November 6-7, 2023

Dolphin Wahoo Advisory Panel Meeting

Charleston, SC

Webinar Registration

November 7-8, 2023

Mackerel Cobia Advisory Panel Meeting

Charleston, SC

Webinar Registration