Tag Archives: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

A Brunswick County senator’s proposed resolution opposing catch-share fisheries management is drawing praise

In fisheries managed by catch shares, certain fishermen or companies are assigned individual limits for a given species during a season, a strategy the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says allows fishermen to make decisions based on market conditions and avoid hazardous weather conditions. Many North Carolina fishermen have expressed great concern about catch shares reaching their waters and are supporting Senate Bill 370. Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, introduced the bill, which would communicate to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, NOAA Fisheries and the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission that the Senate opposes catch share management off the N.C. coast. continue reading the story, click here 22:43

Council for Sustainable Fishing – Catch share fishery management in the South Atlantic is dead

Press Release – Thanks to you and many others, catch share fishery management in the South Atlantic is dead – at least for now. Yesterday at the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council public hearing in Jekyll Island, GA it was announced that the pilot snapper-grouper catch share Exempted Fishing Permit application had been withdrawn. This back-door attempt to begin the privatization of our fishery resources by insiders, sitting SAFMC members Charlie Phillips and Chris Conklin and former SAFMC member Jack Cox, all commercial snapper-grouper fleet owners and dealers, met overwhelming opposition from fishermen all across the region. By the time of the well-attended public hearing, there were a total of 616 comments on the catch share EFP through the SAFMC’s online comment form: 600 comments or 97 percent against and just 16 comments or 3 percent for. continue reading the press release here 07:36

NOAA Turns a Blind Eye – How manipulation and corruption are making a mockery of federal fisheries management

This question often comes up in discussions about the federal fisheries management process: Why are people who profit from the harvest and sale of America’s marine resources allowed to sit on management bodies that make regulations governing those resources? It’s a good question. The most contentious issue in the Gulf of Mexico is privatization of the red snapper fishery in which millions of dollars’ worth of a public resource was gifted to select commercial operators to harvest for their own personal profit. Gifted, for free. Yet, someone who owns red snapper shares can sit on the Gulf Council and vote on every aspect of that fishery. And one does. Over the past few years, certain members of the charter/for-hire sector have worked to launch a privatization program in which they, too, could own shares and use red snapper as their own. Yet, on the Gulf Council, people who own charter businesses and stand to directly benefit from the program are never required to recuse themselves from votes on that program. continue reading the article here 08:24

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council may hike overall lobster harvest

Federal fishery managers meeting this week in Georgia hear proposals to raise the annual limit on spiny lobster harvests, the Florida Keys’ most economically important commercial species. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meets from Monday through Friday at the Westin resort in Jekyll Island, Ga. Permit limits in the for-hire (charter) sector in the snapper-grouper fishery also are up for discussion. The council is considering raising the annual catch numbers of spiny lobster because fishers contend that the number were based on yearly averages that include some of the worst lobster seasons on record. Twice in recent years, the harvests have exceeded the current catch limit of 7.3 million pounds. A legal sized spiny lobster weighs about 1 pound. During the bad seasons, “the historic low level of landings that were documented for the species [suggested] biological conditions had changed and that spiny lobster populations were at a new low normal,” says council staff summary. “Since landings have been much higher than anticipated, the review panel… determined that conditions for spiny lobster are likely better than they were during the 10-year period of low landings.” continue reading the story here 14:19

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Jekyll Island, GA March 6-10, 2017

The public is invited to attend the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to be held at The Westin Jekyll Island, 110 Ocean Way, Jekyll Island, GA 31527, USA. Click here for details Webinar Registration: Listen Live, Click here 14:00

South Atlantic Catch Share plan will eliminate over 60 percent of the commercial snapper-grouper fishermen

Just a quick reminder that we need your help today to stop the “pilot” commercial snapper-grouper catch share program being proposed by two South Atlantic Fishery Management Council members: Vice Chair Charlie Phillips and Chris Conklin, both commercial snapper-grouper fleet owners and dealers. Incredibly, Chris, in a recent email about this pilot program that was publicly posted on a fishing forum, effectively said he wants to get rid of over 60 percent of commercial snapper-grouper fishermen, who he calls “part timers,” so the big snapper-grouper players will benefit. Most full time career commercial and for-hire fishermen in the South Atlantic make a living by participating in multiple fisheries, so they could be considered part timers in many fisheries. But they are full time career fishermen, of which snapper-grouper is just one vital income source. Read the article here 11:50

Coral plan threatens fishing grounds

 The NEFMC is working with the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to preserve deep-sea corals from the Canadian border to Virginia. Area lobstermen could lose valuable fishing grounds if a federal proposal to close four areas of Gulf of Maine waters comes to fruition. The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) has drafted a plan that would close a span of 161 square miles offshore to commercial fishing in an effort to conserve deep-sea coral there. Two of those areas, Mount Desert Rock in Lobster Management Zone B and Outer Schoodic Ridge in Lobster Management Zone A, are preferred fishing grounds for local fishermen when lobster head further offshore in the winter. The other proposed offshore closure areas lie in Jordan Basin and Lindenkohl Knoll to the south.  Read the story here 09:34

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council not listening to fishermen

csf-logoDo you think fishery managers listen to fishermen? After last week’s South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting you have to wonder. A proposal to limit the number of charter and head boats that could fish in the South Atlantic was met with overwhelming opposition by fishermen. There were 169 written comments against the proposal and just 3 for it. Click here to see the comments. Yet, the SAFMC didn’t listen to fishermen and kill the proposal. Instead it voted 9 to 3 to develop a “white paper” to continue to explore charter and head boat limited entry options for the snapper-grouper fishery. Read the rest here 14:07

Don’t bite on risky lure of ‘catch shares’

wolf-in-sheeps-clothing-scaled500-e1371562470325I can’t think of a more appropriate saying to use than “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” to describe the reality of what the Seafood Harvesters of America want to do with our offshore fisheries. The Post and Courier recently published an article and editorial that bought into the sheep’s clothing side. Year-round fishing and better fisheries data are touted. Who could be against that? But there’s a wolf: privatization of our fisheries through a scheme called “catch shares,” where fishermen and corporations are actually given ownership of our fisheries with shares that can be bought or sold like stock on Wall Street.  That’s the real reason for the Seafood Harvesters of America’s existence. They’re working hard to ensure commercial fishermen own our fisheries, and in this case it’s our snapper and grouper, starting with a pilot program that could be considered by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries next year. Read the op-ed here 08:02

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Atlantic Beach NC December 5 – 9, 2016

south-atlantic-fishery-management-council-logoThe public is invited to attend the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to be held in Atlantic Beach NC at the DoubleTree by Hilton Atlantic Beach Oceanfront. Read the Meeting Agenda Click here, Briefing Book – June 2016 Council Meeting Click here Webinar Registration: Listen Live, Click here  15:10

Better science and data, not catch shares

csf logoWith the exception of three mini-seasons (2012-2014) the red snapper fishery in the South Atlantic has been effectively closed for over six years. By most accounts from fishermen, red snapper are very plentiful – they are routinely encountered while fishermen target other species and divers report large schools. Yet, the stock assessment presented to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council in June says that red snapper are still overfished and that overfishing is still occurring. This despite a lot of uncertainty about the data used in the assessment. Give the SAFMC credit for not accepting the assessment and asking its Scientific and Statistical Committee to reexamine the assessment and stock status determination this fall. The ongoing saga of the red snapper fishery highlights the fact that stock assessments can be flawed because of the lack of good biological and historical abundance information. In other words, much better science and data on our fisheries is needed. Instead of devoting adequate financial resources into stock assessments, NOAA has spent about $160 million over the last six years pushing its National Catch Share Policy in an effort to privatize fisheries. Studies have shown that catch share programs hurt fishing communities by destroying jobs and don’t provide any biological benefit to fisheries. 10:36

U.S. Rep. Walter Jones and other congressmen want South Atlantic red snapper fishery reopened

Congressman JonesThe representatives said data produced by a Florida research institution shows the South Atlantic red snapper stock is healthier than what federal data indicates so the fishery should be reopened to commercial and recreational fishing. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries program, announced the South Atlantic red snapper season is closed this year because the total number of red snapper removed from the population in 2015 exceeded the allowable level, according to the NOAA Fisheries website. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, a subsidiary of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, has data that shows the red snapper stock is healthier than the federal data indicates. “Unfortunately, reports indicate these data are not being considered as ‘best available science’ and, therefore, are at risk of being excluded from the (South Atlantic Fishery Management) Council’s deliberations,” Jones and his colleagues said in a letter to NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan. Read the rest here  09:26

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting June 13-17, 2016 Cocoa Beach FL

SAFMC SidebarThe public is invited to attend the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to be held in Cocoa Beach FL at the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront . Read the Meeting Agenda Click here, Briefing Book – June 2016 Council Meeting Click here Webinar Registration: Listen Live, Click here  Additional info, click here  22:54

Lobster-trap report draws ire from Florida Keys commercial lobster fishermen

Spiny lobsterFlorida Keys commercial lobster fishermen bristled at a report on traps in protected marine areas being presented at this week’s South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting. The report on small no-trapping areas created to safeguard spots with branching elkhorn or staghorn corals is scheduled for a Spiny Lobster Committee meeting at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Cocoa Beach. “We worked [with fishery regulators] to develop these 60 coral protection areas,” said Ernie Piton, president of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association. “We even proposed more than they asked for.” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission surveys at selected coral protection zones in 2014 and 2015 logged traps and parts of traps spotted in the zones, most of which are unmarked by warning buoys and do not appear on most nautical charts. “Some of the older gentlemen in our industry have been doing this 30 or 40 years and they don’t use GPS; they go by sight,” Piton said. Read the rest here 09:36

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council propose changes to Yellowtail Snapper fishery

yellowtail-snapper-side_mediumThe change comes following requests from a group of Florida Keys fishermen, as yellowtail snapper are primarily harvested in the Keys.  The commercial yellowtail fishery was closed in October in 2014, after National Marine Fisheries Service projected the fishery would meet its annual catch limit of 1.6 million pounds. The fishermen want the season to end in July when there is less fishing pressure and the fish are spawning, said Bill Kelly, executive for the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association.  “The closure should occur when prices are at their lowest and demand is at its lowest,” Kelly said. “Also, the season should be closed when the fish is spawning.” In addition, commercial fishermen have lobbied to reallocate some of the recreational catch to the commercial side, as the recreational side has only caught a little more than half of its 1.4 million pound annual limit, according to federal fishery managers. Read the rest here 08:40

South Atlantic: Move surfaces to overhaul red snapper restrictions, limits

redsnapperFollowing the recent announcement that anglers will continue to be prohibited from keeping red snapper in the Atlantic Ocean this year, a member of the regional council that oversees fishing in the Southeast’s federal waters wants to overhaul how the species is regulated. Ben Hartig, a commercial fisherman from Hobe Sound, sent a letter last week to members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council that said current regulations are based on unreliable information about the red snapper population and number of fish caught. Hartig proposed a range of possible changes to the years-long, controversial plan in place to help increase the species’ numbers that, if pursued by the council, could go into place as early as 2018. Read the rest here 10:24

Part of the bottom of the fabled Georgetown Hole will be closed to fishing by 2017

AR-160319858The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved in a final vote Friday to close off 3.1 square miles of the offshore fishing mecca, after looking at options as varied as closing off 15 square miles to not closing the Hole at all. Trolling, or fishing off the bottom would still be allowed. The move would reserve the acreage as a marine spawning sanctuary to help restore the lost stock, particularly those huge brood stock “trophy fish” that are rarely, if ever, caught today. Council also voted to close two artificial reef areas totaling about 6 square miles. Read the rest here 12:06

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting , March 7-11, 2016, Jekyll Island, GA

The public is invited to attend the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to be held in Jekyll Island, GA, at the Westin Jekyll Island. Read the Meeting Agenda Click here, Briefing Book – September 2015 Council Meeting Click here Webinar Registration: Listen Live, Click here  19:44

Federal and state fishery managers busy with half a dozen hearings, meetings in the Keys in February

A frenetic February features several fishery forums in the . The status of mutton snapper, barracuda, hogfish, mackerel and sea anemones will be reviewed for public comment at a slate of six Keys sessions hosted by state and federal fish-management agencies. A recommended reduction in mutton snapper harvests will be a prime topic at two sessions, held jointly by the federal South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Rule changes may affect both state and federal waters. Read the article here 13:06

New rules for dolphin proposed

A federal fishery council has approved a rule that could keep the open so that by the time the migrating fish makes its way to the Florida Keys, the commercial fishery will not be closed. The National Marine Fisheries Service closed down the commercial dolphin fishery in July, the height of dolphin fishing in the Keys. For the past two years, fishermen off North and South Carolina, who generally fish for tuna, have targeted dolphin heavily and the annual commercial allocation has been near run out by the time Keys fishermen start fishing for dolphin. Read the article here 15:15

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting December 7-11, 2015 in Atlantic Beach, NC .

SAFMC SidebarThe public is invited to attend the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to be held in Atlantic Beach, NC . Read the Meeting Agenda Click here, Briefing Book – September 2015 Council Meeting Click here Webinar Registration: Listen Live, Click here  12:35

Florida Keys commercial fishermen critical of proposed dolphin changes

The head of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association contends that a proposed increase to the dolphin fish allocation to the commercial fishing sector does not go far enough. Kelly proposed federal fishery managers increase the commercial catch in 5, 10 or 20 percent increases a year, depending on how much the recreational side of the fishery harvests the previous year, he said. The South Atlantic and could look at the harvest data each year and make adjustments. Read the rest here 08:17

Rep. Stephen Goldfinch correct to oppose closing more offshore areas to fishing

Our thanks to state Rep. Stephen Goldfinch for opposing more closed fishing areas in the South Atlantic and particularly off the Grand Strand at the famed Georgetown Hole. Goldfinch’s opposition is based on the facts: these proposed spawning Special Management Zones are not part of any fishery rebuilding plan and duplicate 700 square miles of existing no-fishing Marine Protected Areas (170 square miles are off South Carolina’s coast) that were put in place for the same purpose. Read the rest here 11:36

Keys commercial fishermen hurting from mahi mahi limit

Florida Keys commercial fishermen last week renewed their appeal to federal fishery managers to allow more harvests. The commercial fishery for dolphin, an offshore fish also known as mahi mahi, closed June 30 when the annual catch limit of 1.57 million pounds was reached. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council met all last week in South Carolina. Kelly traveled up to testify. “They’re leaving millions of pounds of a highly sustainable fishery on the table,” said Bill Kelly, director of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association. Read the rest here 10:49

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting – Hilton Head, South Carolina. Listen Live

SAFMC SidebarThe public is invited to attend the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to be held in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Read the Meeting Agenda Click here, Briefing Book – September 2015 Council Meeting Click here Webinar Registration: Listen Live, Click here  07:32

State Rep. Goldfinch applauded for stance against offshore no-fishing zones

The Council for Sustainable Fishing, a regional advocacy group for recreational and commercial fishing interests, Thursday applauded state csf logo, for his letter to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council opposing additional offshore no-fishing zones. “We thank Rep. Goldfinch for standing up for fishing interests and the coastal economy and his recognition that there is simply no justification for any additional no-fishing areas in the South Atlantic,” Council for Sustainable Fishing Executive Director Tom Swatzel said. Read the rest here 09:19

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Affected fishermen frustrated with proposed regulations

fishermen safmc frustrationThe South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is collecting feedback from dozens of fishing areas from Florida up to North Carolina about the snapper-grouper fishery. “We want some controversial items that are opposed by nearly all fishermen removed, like catch shares, which is an effort to privatize the fishery, electronic monitoring of a vessel, and more closed fishing areas,” said Tom Swatzel, a council member with Sustainable Fishing.  “We just don’t need those at this time.” “How much consideration was put in about what we the fishermen Read the rest here 13:05

SAFMC Snapper-Grouper Vision Project hearings in SC and GA next week – Be heard on this very important plan.

csf logoA reminder of the important public hearings next week in South Carolina and Georgia on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s snapper-grouper Vision Project. This long-term snapper-grouper management plan, which was promised by the SAFMC to be “stakeholder-driven,” contains measures that are overwhelmingly opposed by stakeholders: catch share programs for both commercial and for-hire fishermen that will privatize the fishery, expensive and burdensome vessel electronic monitoring for all fishermen, and more closed fishing areas. South Carolina, and Georgia schedules, locations, webinar info click here 16:24

Plan to privatize snapper-grouper fishery ownership off southeastern states blasted by fishing advocacy group

csf logoTom Swatzel says the SAFMC has purposely not used the controversial phrase “catch shares” in the plan, but instead has used less understood terminology for catch shares such as “sector share management system,” “individual quota management system,” “individual quota programs,” “sector share programs/cooperatives,” “individual quotas,” and “allocations by permit.” “It’s very troubling the SAFMC would resort to using code-speak for catch shares instead of being up front with fishermen about the fact that catch share programs are indeed in the plan,” Swatzel said. Read the rest here 11:07

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council – No red snapper take in 2015

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council announced Friday, there will not be commercial or recreational season in 2015 because the total number of red snapper removed from the population in 2014 exceeded the allowable level. In other news, the SAFMC also announced that no more recreational harvest of blueline tilefish in South Atlantic waters will be allowed after 12:01 a.m. (local time) Wednesday. The commercial sector for blueline tilefish was closed to harvest on April 7. Read the rest here 13:02

Fate of the blueline tilefishery is now in the hands of the National Marine Fisheries Service

nmfs_logoThe species grabbed anglers’ attention in February when the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council requested that NMFS take emergency action on bluelines when it learned commercial fishing boats out of North Carolina planned on landing tilefish in New Jersey to take advantage of a no-limit loophole. A week after the Mid-Atlantic made its request, The SAFMC directed its Science and Statistical Committee (SSC) to determine if its earlier assessment, SEDAR 32, was applicable to the entire Atlantic Coast. Read the rest here 13:11

Battle over blueline tilefish intensifies-SAFMC requested emergency action for East Coast

MAFMC SidebarIn a move that’s certain to heighten tensions over the management of blueline tilefish, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has requested emergency action that will extend the regulations governing the fishery in its jurisdiction to the entire east coast. The MAFMC became concerned for the stock when commercial fishing boats out of North Carolina made it known they planned on landing tilefish in New Jersey, which has no limit on catches. There is no fishery management plan — or available science Read the rest here 16:25

‘The Hole’ a spawning sanctuary for big fish?

The Georgetown Hole is the stuff of legend — tiers and tiers of deep ocean ledges swarmed by species after species of fish. It’s the generations-old “sweet spot” where boats once pulled holds full of the monsters seen in the old photos, game fish almost as big as a man. Now regulators want to put the bottom off-limits as a marine spawning sanctuary to help restore the overall stock and maybe bring back those monster fish. Read the rest here 15:00

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting March 2-6, 2015

SAFMC SidebarMeeting Agenda (posted 2/10)  Briefing Book Materials (posted 2/13)  Webinar Registration: Watch the meeting LIVE as it happens – Sign up for daily Webinars at the links here. 15:31

Keys fishery issues back on tap

The ban and a lack of consistent fishing regulations among the major government fishery agencies that have jurisdiction in Keys waters has led to the formation of a committee to look at South Florida fishing regulations. The committee — which is comprised of members from South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management councils and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) — will meet for three days in Key West starting Jan. 13 Read the rest here 10:18

The fishery council credibilit​y gap – Wayne Mershon, President, Council for Sustainable Fishing

SAFMC SidebarThis week in New Bern, NC, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council created its own credibility gap with fishermen and other stakeholders when it decided to include catch share schemes for both the commercial and for-hire sectors, expensive vessel monitoring systems for all sectors, and more no-fishing Marine Protected Areas — all management measures vehemently opposed by the vast majority of stakeholders — in its draft long-term plan for the snapper-grouper fishery called the Vision Project. Read the rest here 18:55

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting December 1-5, 2014 – New Bern, NC Attend via Webinar

SAFMC SidebarClick here for  Meeting Agenda  Click here for Briefing Book Materials  Webinar Registration: Watch the meeting LIVE as it happens – Sign up for daily Webinars here 17:24

Possible rule changes for hogfish overfishing

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Life Research Institute recently completed a stock assessment of hogfish and found the ones in Atlantic Ocean waters off Florida are currently undergoing overfishing, which means the fish mortality rate is at a level that is too high and not sustainable, according to research institute fisheries biologist Mike Murphy. Read the rest here 09:02

South Atlantic Fishery Council credibility is at stake

council_fishing_headerLast year, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council made a big splash,,,  The phrase “catch shares” is nowhere to be found in the document. Instead creative code-speak is used to describe the strategy throughout the document: “sector share management system,” “individual quota management system,” We’re shocked and disappointed to see the SAFMC depart so dramatically from the stakeholder-driven,,,  Read the rest here 11:41

Regulations changed on AJs, black sea bass in South Atlantic

SAFMC SidebarThe date change also aligns the beginning of the commercial harvest season for black sea bass with the commercial season for vermilion snapper, which are commonly caught together with hook-and-line gear.,, The trip-limit changes will all be on the commercial side and include reducing the trip limit for black sea bass, Read the rest here 09:45

Council for Sustainable Fishing – Working to prevent a grouper closure and catch shares

council_fishing_headerLast week, I attended the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Charleston, SC and wanted to make you aware of some important decisions made by the council. While the council approved increased Annual Catch Limits for a number of unassessed snapper-grouper species such as gray triggerfish (commercial and recreational ACLs will increase by about 40,000 lbs. and 51,000 lbs. respectively next year), the council was on the verge of slashing the overall scamp grouper ACL by over 40 percent, which had the potential of hurting fishermen, particularly in the Carolinas. Read the rest here

Officials considering closing fishing areas from Florida Keys to North Carolina – seeking fishermen’s comments.

Representatives from the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council held meetings last week in Key West and other areas of the state to obtain input on setting aside fishery areas as a way to protect critical spawning habitat.The goal of the proposal is to identify important spawning habitats for snapper and grouper species, while minimizing the social and economic impacts to snapper and grouper fishermen. Read more here 10:54

SAFMC halts MPA effort, includes catch shares in top ten list

council_fishing_headerThe SAFMC has been pushed hard for over two years by radical environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, and Pew to approve the proposed MPAs even though the SAFMC’s own scientific advisors have said there is no scientific justification. It is of great concern that at last week’s SAFMC meeting, when council members submitted their top three issues/solutions as part of the snapper-grouper fishery “visioning” process, catch shares made it into the top ten issues for consideration. Read more here 14:04

New rules would ban commercial fishing, lobster mini season from Biscayne National Park

“It’s always so easy to take a swipe at fishermen whether they’re commercial or recreational,” said Bill Kelly, executive director of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association. “It’s going to have a severe socio-economic impact. We’re talking generations of fishermen — a cultural heritage.” Read more here  08:55

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/06/16/4182824/new-rules-would-ban-commercial.html#storylink=cpy

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting June 9-13 – Listen Live!

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL Meeting Agenda Click Here  Webinar Registration: Watch the meeting LIVE as it happens Click here to register 13:09

Council For Sustainable Fishing – Help get the best qualified fisheries managers

council_fishing_headerGood news from last week: Governors Nikki Haley and Rick Scott nominated charter boat operators Mark Brown from Charleston and Robert Johnson from St. Augustine respectively for appointment to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to fill seats for recreational/for-hire representation. Read more here  17:19

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting March 3-7, 2014 in Savannah, GA – Listen LIVE!

Briefing book materials, including a detailed agenda, agenda highlights, committee meeting overviews, committee documents, and information on the Informal Q&A and Public Comment Session are now available here  Sign up for Webinar here   20:17

SAFMC BULLETIN: Federal Waters Off South Carolina Closed to All Fishing for Brown, White, and Pink Shrimp Through May 31, 2014

Effective February 13, 2014, at 12:01am Federal waters off South Carolina are closed to the harvest of brown, pink, and white shrimp through May 31, 2014. South Carolina has closed its territorial waters to all shrimping as well. South Carolina fishery managers requested this closure due to a prolonged period of water temperatures at or below 9°C in the region. Read [email protected]  20:05

Tell the SAFMC how you want the snapper-grouper fishery managed!

council_fishing_headerThe South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is developing a long-term “vision” for managing the snapper grouper fishery. Next week, beginning in South Carolina, the fishery council will begin a series of “port meetings” to seek input from commercial and recreational snapper-grouper fishermen, dealers, chefs and others who have a stake in the fishery as to how the fishery should be managed long-term. Read [email protected]  20:51

Important meetings in Florida and Georgia this week! – Council for Sustainable Fishing

council_fishing_headerThis week, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will conduct public input meetings in Florida and Georgia on proposed fishery management plan amendments that will affect the black sea bass trap fishery, gray triggerfish, Spanish and king mackerel, and how Annual Catch Limits are calculated on some unassessed snapper-grouper species. Click here for the public meeting schedule, how to submit written comments and the amendment documents.  15:25  Click here for Council for Sustainable Fishing

Fishermen seek winter black bass pot fishing again

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, one of the interstate fishery management bodies with jurisdiction in the federal waters off North Carolina, held a hearing and scoping meeting for the public Wednesday at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. It was about several proposed amendments to fishery management plans. One of these is Amendment 16 to the Snapper-Grouper FMP for the South Atlantic region, which includes North Carolina. Read [email protected]  10:52

“We really don’t know if the stock is rebuilt,” Roy Crabtree of the National Marine Fisheries Service – Goliath grouper could be placed back on the hook

The possible future of South Florida fishing rules, including the latest information on Goliath grouper populations, goes before combined panels of federal and state fishery experts convening Jan. 7-9 in Key Largo. “This is really interesting stuff,” said Robert Mahood, executive director of the federal South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. Read [email protected]”  01:15

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting December 2-6, 2013 – Wilmington, NC

Meeting Postcard   Meeting Agenda   Briefing Book Materials  Webinar Registration: Watch the meeting LIVE as it happens – Sign up for daily Webinars below. Info here  16:21

NOAA says Population of black sea bass recovered, assessment finds

Catch limits for black sea bass more than doubled last month after a stock assessment showed that the southern population of the fish has officially recovered, officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said this week. The change was no surprise to area fishermen, who for years complied with shortened fishing seasons and restricted catch limits while local sea bass populations surged. [email protected]  09:10

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council SSC Meeting: October 22-24, 2013

The scientific advisors to the South Atlantic Council meet this week to talk about blueline tilefish, Spanish mackerel, snowy grouper, and other issues. You can listen in via webinar here 11:04

In Public Notices – South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Approves Broad Range of Federal Management Measures

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 23, 2013  The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved several amendments to federal fishery management plans during its quarterly meeting this past week in Charleston, South Carolina, including measures to help reduce bycatch, increase annual catch limits, improve data reporting, and provide further protection of deepwater coral areas. The Council considered recommendations from its advisory. more here 15:59

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council delay action on new Marine Protected Areas

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Federal regulators decided Wednesday they want more information before adding another 300 square miles to areas where bottom fishing is banned along the Southeast coast. A proposal before a committee of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council would have established 12 new Marine Protected Areas, to go with eight existing ones, in waters along the coast between the Carolinas and Florida. [email protected] 23:01

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to discuss closing Georgetown Hole, other areas, to fishing

Murrells Inlet seafood dealer Chris Conklin will be sworn as a new member of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council at the start of the council’s meeting on Monday and will immediately find himself embroiled in what promises to be an intense discussion on the proposed establishment of more Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) off the South Atlantic coast. The impact on South Carolina fishermen – both recreational and commercial – could be significant if all the proposed MPAs are approved, and the council is being urged to do just that by at least one environmental group, the PEW Charitable Trusts. [email protected]  00:26

No-fishing zones can’t be justified, hurt coastal economy

Recreational and commercial fishermen and coastal business should be very concerned about an effort by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to create more no-fishing zones off North and South Carolina, Georgia and east Florida in a misguided reaction to radical environmental groups that are pushing for extraordinary and unjustifiable protections for two deep-water grouper species. [email protected]  13:47

National Marine Fisheries Service increase yearly yellowtail snapper catch

The National Marine Fisheries Service will increase the allowable catch for yellowtail snapper in the jurisdiction of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, which runs from North Carolina to Florida.  The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, which oversees fisheries from Florida to Texas, will increase the annual catch limit for yellowtail in its jurisdiction from 725,000 pounds to 901,125 pounds. . [email protected]