NACO

National Association of Charterboat Operators

SAFMC Approves Increases for Black Sea Bass Annual Catch Limits

Federal managers approve amendment for Secretarial review and increase in 2013 fishing season
    
    The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved measures to increase the Annual Catch Limit (ACL) for black sea bass in the South Atlantic region during a special one-day meeting held yesterday. In a compromise vote, the Council approved an increase from the current limit of 847,000 pounds (all measures in whole weight) to 1,814,000 pounds. The increase would be effective for 2013, 2014, and 2015. For 2016 and beyond, the ACL would be 1,756,450 pounds until changed. The meeting, held via webinar, was called by the Council to help expedite the proposed increase for the 2013 fishing year. A recent stock assessment shows that the black sea bass stock in the South Atlantic is no longer undergoing overfishing, is not overfished, and the stock is rebuilt. The assessment, as reviewed by the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee, allows for an increase the ACL. 

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Snowy Grouper Assessment to Begin

The SEDAR 36 assessment of the South Atlantic stock of snowy grouper will consist of a series of webinars.

A SEDAR 36 pre-data deadline webinar will be held on Monday, June 3, 2013 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Additional assessment webinars will be held from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on the following dates: July 12, 2013; July 26, 2013; August 23, 2013 (optional); September 4, 2013; and September 27, 2013 (optional). Optional webinar dates will be used as required by the Assessment Panel during the assessment process.

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Black Sea Bass Webinar May 13th

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold a special webinar meeting in order to address Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 19 (black sea bass) as well as the Proposed Rule for Gulf Council Permit Transfer and Renewal Requirements.

SAFMC Meeting via Webinar scheduled for Monday, May 13, 2013 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.   

 

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Comment Time on Actions to Improve Management of Vermilion Snapper and Red Porgy in the South Atlantic

Comment Period Ends June 7, 2013 

NOAA Fisheries requests public comments on the proposed rule to implement Regulatory Amendment 18 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Regulatory Amendment 18). The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved Regulatory Amendment 18 for review by the Secretary of Commerce in March 2013, and the proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register on May 8, 2013.

Population assessment updates for vermilion snapper and red porgy were recently completed. The vermilion snapper update indicated the population is no longer undergoing overfishing (when fish are taken from the population too quickly) and is not overfished (when there are not enough fish in the population). The stock assessment update for red porgy indicated the species is not undergoing overfishing but is still overfished. Based on the outcome of these population assessment updates, NOAA Fisheries is proposing to modify several management measures for vermilion snapper and red porgy.

The Proposed Rule Would:

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Join SAFMC Staff for Live Q&A Session via Webinar on Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 19

Staff will provide information on proposed actions for increasing the Annual Catch Limit for the black sea bass fishery.

The SAFMC is considering management measures that may increase the length of this year's fishing season for black sea bass through an increase to the Annual Catch Limit for both the commercial and recreational fishery.  Regulatory Amendment 19 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan was developed based on a recent stock assessment that showed that the black sea bass stock in the South Atlantic is no longer undergoing overfishing, is not overfished, and the stock is rebuilt.

 

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Increases to Black Sea Bass Annual Catch Limits Under Consideration

Council plans special meeting via webinar May 13, 2013 to address increase; public comment open
     
Fishermen eagerly waiting for the black sea bass season to open in offshore waters on June 1, 2013 have an opportunity to comment on management measures that may increase the length of this year's fishing season. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is currently accepting public comment on measures to increase the Annual Catch Limit (ACL) for both commercial and recreational fishermen. A recent stock assessment shows that the black sea bass stock in the South Atlantic is no longer undergoing overfishing, is not overfished, and the stock is rebuilt. The proposed increases are based on recommendations from the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee.

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SAFMC to Hold Webinar on Gulf Council Permit Transfer and Amendment 19

 

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a special webinar meeting in order to address Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 19 as well as the Proposed Rule for Gulf Council Permit Transfer and Renewal Requirements. The Council will take action as necessary. The Council will also hold a public comment session via webinar.

The Council meeting will be held from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Monday, May 13, 2013.

 

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DEIS for Amendment 14

Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS); request for comments.

NMFS, Southeast Region, in collaboration with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council), intends to prepare a DEIS to describe and analyze a range of alternatives for management actions to be included in Regulatory Amendment 14 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Regulatory Amendment 14). In Regulatory Amendment 14, the Council is considering management measures to modify the fishing year for greater amberjack; revise the minimum size limit measurement for gray triggerfish; increase the minimum size limit for hogfish; modify the commercial and recreational fishing years for black sea bass; adjust the commercial fishing season for vermilion snapper; modify the aggregate grouper bag limit; and revise the accountability measures (AMs) for gag and vermilion snapper. The intent of Regulatory Amendment 14 is to achieve optimum yield (OY) for snapper-grouper species and enhance socio-economic opportunities within the snapper-grouper fishery. The purpose of this NOI is to solicit public comments on the scope of issues to be addressed in the DEIS.

Written comments on the scope of issues to be addressed in the DEIS will be accepted until May 17, 2013.

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NMFS Reorganizes Fisheries Request for Comments

NMFS hereby reorganizes the regulations implementing the fishery management plans (FMPs) for the following domestic fisheries in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Caribbean coral, Caribbean reef fish, Caribbean spiny lobster, Caribbean queen conch, Gulf red drum, Gulf reef fish, Gulf shrimp, Gulf coral, Gulf and South Atlantic coastal migratory pelagics, Gulf and South Atlantic spiny lobster, South Atlantic coral, South Atlantic snapper-grouper, South
Atlantic shrimp, Atlantic dolphin and wahoo, South Atlantic golden crab, and South Atlantic pelagic sargassum. This interim final rule does not create any new rights or obligations; it reorganizes the existing regulatory requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations in a more logical format, i.e., by fishery, so constituents and other interested parties can locate regulatory requirements applicable to them more easily. As a part of this reorganization, the implementing regulations for the Gulf and South Atlantic spiny lobster FMP have been consolidated into the same CFR part as all other regulations implementing FMPs in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic.

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