The following was released by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council on January 8, 2014:
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is seeking public input on proposed management measures affecting the fishery management plans for snapper grouper and coastal migratory pelagics (includes king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia). The public is encouraged to provide written comment and participate in upcoming public hearings and scoping meetings scheduled from January 21-30, 2014 throughout the region. Informal Q&A webinars with Council staff are scheduled for January 15th and 16th to provide the public with an overview of the amendments prior to the meetings. The following amendments to fishery management plans are being considered:
Amendments for Public Hearing
Snapper Grouper Amendment 29 (ORCS and gray triggerfish) includes:
- Adjustments to the Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) values for unassessed species where data is limited, known as "Only Reliable Catch Species" or ORCS
- Management measures for gray triggerfish including changes minimum size limits, establishment of a split commercial season, and commercial trip limits.
Coastal Migratory Pelagics Framework Amendment 1 includes:
- Changes to the Annual Catch Limits for Spanish mackerel (both South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico migratory groups)
Amendments for Public Scoping
Coastal Migratory Pelagics Amendments 24 and 26 includes:
- Amendment 24 - Options to modify sector allocations for Gulf migratory group king mackerel and Atlantic migratory group Spanish mackerel
- Amendment 26 - Options for separate commercial permits for king mackerel and Spanish mackerel in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico
Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 16 includes:
- Options to address the current annual prohibition on the use of commercial black sea bass pots from November through April.
Public Hearing/Scoping Meetings
To gather public input on the management measures above, the Council will hold a series of public hearings and scoping meetings from Key West, Florida to Atlantic Beach, North Carolina (see schedule below). Council staff will be on hand to provide an overview of the proposed measures and available for informal discussions and to answer questions. Members of the public will have an opportunity to go on record to provide comments for consideration by the Council. Local Council representatives will attend the hearings and listen to public comment.
SAFMC Public Hearing/Scoping Meeting Schedule
Tuesday, January 21, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Bay Watch Conference Center
2701 S. Ocean Boulevard
N. Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
Tuesday, January 28, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
DoubleTree by Hilton
2080 N. Atlantic Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
Wednesday, January 22, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Doubletree by Hilton
2717 West Fort Macon Road
Atlantic Beach, NC 28512
Wednesday, January 29, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
1515 Prudential Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Monday, January 27, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Key West Marriott Beachside
3841 N. Roosevelt Boulevard
Key West, FL 33040
Thursday, January 30, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum
175 Bourne Avenue
Submitting Written Comment
Written comments will be accepted until 5:00 PM on February 3, 2014. Instructions for submitting written comments, including email comments, are available from the Council's web site. Copies of the draft documents will be posted on the website by January 10, 2014 and also available by contacting the Council office at 843/571-4366 or Toll Free 866/SAFMC-10.
Informal Q&A Webinars Scheduled
Prior to the public hearings, Council staff will conduct informal question and answer sessions via webinar on the various amendments in order to help the public become informed on the details of the proposed measures. The evening webinars are scheduled for January 15 and 16, 2014 starting at 6:00 PM. Registration is required and is available at the links below or from the public hearing page.
- January 15: Coastal Migratory Pelagics Amendments
- January 16: Snapper Grouper Amendments
Draft amendment documents and a PDF and video presentation on the amendments will be available for viewing prior to the webinars on Friday, January 10, 2014.
Webinar participants are highly encouraged to review these resources prior to participating in the webinars.
877/SAFMC-10 or 843.571-4366