South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Regulations

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is responsible for the conservation and management of many species found in federal waters in the South Atlantic region. Federal fishing regulations are complex and change regularly based on new management measures and as fisheries open and close once annual catch limits have been reached.

Regulations summarized on the SAFMC website are only intended to serve as a guide to recreational and commercial fishing regulations for federally regulated species.  The website does not contain the official compilation of the regulations.  The Code of Federal Regulations is the official legal print publication containing the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by agencies of the Federal Government. The Code of Federal Regulations is available online and from the Office of the Federal Register. The SAFMC assumes no liability for any errors that occur as a result of the regulations summarized on its website.

Note: Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (sharks, tunas, and billfish) are managed by NOAA Fisheries. Additional information, including details for obtaining permits and regulations, is available from the NOAA Fisheries website.

Resources

Regulations by species

Amberjack, Greater

Amberjack, Greater

Seriola dumerili
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Amberjack, Lesser

Amberjack, Lesser

Seriola fasciata
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Cobia

Cobia

Ling, Rachycentron canadum
SC FL, GA, NC
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Crab, Golden

Crab, Golden

Chaceon fenneri
All areas are closed for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Dolphin

Dolphin

Coryphaena hippurus, dorado, mahi mahi
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grouper, Black

Grouper, Black

Mycteroperca bonaci
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grouper, Coney

Grouper, Coney

Cephalopholis fulva
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grouper, Gag

Grouper, Gag

Charcoal belly, Mycteroperca microlepis
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grouper, Goliath

Grouper, Goliath

Epinephelus itajara
All areas are closed for recreational fishing.
All areas are closed for commercial fishing.
Grouper, Graysby

Grouper, Graysby

Cephalopholis cruentata
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grouper, Misty

Grouper, Misty

Epinephelus mystacinus, Hyporthodus mystacinus, Mystic grouper
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grouper, Nassau

Grouper, Nassau

Epinephelus striatus
All areas are closed for recreational fishing.
All areas are closed for commercial fishing.
Grouper, Red

Grouper, Red

Epinephelus morio
NC, SC FL, GA
Check permits
Grouper, Red Hind

Grouper, Red Hind

Epinephelus guttatus
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grouper, Rock Hind

Grouper, Rock Hind

Epinephelus adscensionis
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grouper, Scamp

Grouper, Scamp

Broomtail, Mycteroperca phenax
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grouper, Snowy

Grouper, Snowy

Hyporthodus niveatus
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grouper, Speckled Hind

Grouper, Speckled Hind

Epinephelus drummondhayi, Kitty Mitchell
All areas are closed for recreational fishing.
All areas are closed for commercial fishing.
Grouper, Warsaw

Grouper, Warsaw

Hyporthodus nigritus
All areas are closed for recreational fishing.
All areas are closed for commercial fishing.
Grouper, Wreckfish

Grouper, Wreckfish

Polyprion americanus
All areas are closed for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grouper, Yellowedge

Grouper, Yellowedge

Hyporthodus flavolimbatus
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grouper, Yellowfin

Grouper, Yellowfin

Mycteroperca venenosa
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grouper, Yellowmouth

Grouper, Yellowmouth

Mycteroperca interstitialis
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grunt, Cottonwick

Grunt, Cottonwick

Haemulon melanurum
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grunt, Margate

Grunt, Margate

Haemulon album
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grunt, Sailors Choice

Grunt, Sailors Choice

David's grunt, Haemulon parra
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grunt, Tomtate

Grunt, Tomtate

Haemulon aurolineatum
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Grunt, White

Grunt, White

Haemulon plumierii
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Hogfish

Hogfish

Lachnolaimus maximus
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Jack, Almaco

Jack, Almaco

Seriola rivoliana
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Jack, Bar

Jack, Bar

Caranx ruber
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Lobster, Spiny

Lobster, Spiny

Crawfish, Panulirus argus
FL GA, NC, SC
Check permits
Mackerel, Bullet

Mackerel, Bullet

Auxis rochei, Bullet tuna
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Mackerel, Frigate

Mackerel, Frigate

Auxis thazard, Frigate tuna
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Mackerel, King

Mackerel, King

Scomberomorus cavalla, Smoker, kingfish
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Mackerel, Spanish

Mackerel, Spanish

Scomberomorus maculatus
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Porgy, Jolthead

Porgy, Jolthead

Calamus bajonado
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Porgy, Knobbed

Porgy, Knobbed

Calamus nodosus
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Porgy, Longspine

Porgy, Longspine

Stenotomus caprinus
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Porgy, Red

Porgy, Red

Common seabream, Pagrus pagrus
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Porgy, Saucereye

Porgy, Saucereye

Calamus calamus
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Porgy, Scup

Porgy, Scup

Stenotomus chrysops
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Porgy, Whitebone

Porgy, Whitebone

Calamus leucosteus, Chocolate Chip Porgy
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Rock Shrimp

Rock Shrimp

Sicyonia brevirostris
All areas are closed for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Rudderfish, Banded

Rudderfish, Banded

Seriola zonata
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Sea Bass, Bank

Sea Bass, Bank

Centropristis ocyurus
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Sea Bass, Black

Sea Bass, Black

Centropristis striata
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Sea Bass, Rock

Sea Bass, Rock

Centropristis philadelphica
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Shrimp (Penaeid)

Shrimp (Penaeid)

Brown Shrimp, Pink Shrimp, White Shrimp
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Snapper, Blackfin

Snapper, Blackfin

Lutjanus buccanella
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Snapper, Cubera

Snapper, Cubera

Lutjanus cyanopterus
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Snapper, Gray

Snapper, Gray

Lutjanus griseus, Mangrove Snapper
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Snapper, Lane

Snapper, Lane

Lutjanus synagris
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Snapper, Mutton

Snapper, Mutton

Lutjanus analis
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Snapper, Queen

Snapper, Queen

Etelis oculatus
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Snapper, Red

Snapper, Red

Lutjanus campechanus
All areas are closed for recreational fishing.
All areas are closed for commercial fishing.
Snapper, Silk

Snapper, Silk

Lutjanus vivanus, Yelloweye Snapper
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Snapper, Vermilion

Snapper, Vermilion

Beeliner, Rhomboplites aurorubens
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Snapper, Yellowtail

Snapper, Yellowtail

Flag, Ocyurus chrysurus
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Spadefish

Spadefish

Chaetodipterus faber
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Tilefish, Blueline

Tilefish, Blueline

Caulolatilus microps
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Tilefish, Golden

Tilefish, Golden

Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Tilefish, Sand

Tilefish, Sand

Malacanthus plumieri
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Triggerfish, Gray

Triggerfish, Gray

Balistes capriscus, grey triggerfish
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Triggerfish, Ocean

Triggerfish, Ocean

Canthidermis sufflamen
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.
Wahoo

Wahoo

Acanthocybium solandri
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.