Special Reef Fish SSC Meeting Could Make Recommendations Changing Rules

On Thursday and Friday, June 7-8, 2012, the Standing and Special Reef Fish SSC will meet jointly. The Standing and Special Reef Fish SSC will receive a presentation on methods for setting ABC for stocks that have reliable catch data only (only reliable catch stocks--ORCS). The SSC will also review recommendations from the ABC Control Rule Working Group on possible modifications to the ABC control rule that was adopted as part of the Generic Annual Catch Limits/Accountability Measures Amendment, and may make recommendations on modifications of the ABC control rule to the Council.

The SSC will also reconsider it earlier ABC recommendation for vermilion snapper in light of concern that the P-star method used did not fully capture scientific uncertainty. The SSC will review proposed terms of reference for an upcoming SEDAR mutton snapper update assessment. The SSC will review barotrauma issues, including a summary of a recent workshop on developments in methods and devices for returning fish to the water, a presentation on physiological effects of barotrauma by Dr. Karen Burns, a presentation on marine mammal interactions with released fish by Dr. Greg Stuntz, and a review of a published report by Dr. Gene Wilde on the effectiveness of venting on improving survival of released fish. 

Based on these reviews, the SSC may make recommendations regarding the current rules requiring possession of venting tools on vessels catching reef fish. The SSC will also discuss establishing status determination criteria for determining when stocks are overfished or experiencing undergoing overfishing for stocks that do not currently have such criteria. In addition, the SSC will conduct a routine review of the schedule and priorities for upcoming SEDAR stock assessments. Under other business, the SSC will be asked to clarify a recent request that it be provided with an annual report on the status of Gulf gray triggerfish.

Copies of the agenda and other related materials can be obtained by calling (813) 348-1630 or can be downloaded from the Council's ftp site, ftp.gulfcouncil.org