Upcoming Meetings Target Federal Fisheries Management Issues

Scientists convene in April to provide fishing level recommendations; advisory panels provide input 

Fishermen and others interested in federal fishery management issues may want to mark their calendars for upcoming meetings that will impact fisheries such as snapper grouper, dolphin wahoo, and mackerel. Protection of deepwater coral habitat, transit provisions, and the use of Vessel Monitoring Systems are also on the agendas. Members of the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee will review stock assessments for black sea bass, cobia, and Spanish mackerel, and provide fishing level recommendations to the Council to consider for setting annual catch limits (ACLs). The Council will hold a special one-day meeting on May 13, 2013 via webinar to address fishing level recommendations for black sea bass. Several advisory panel meetings are also scheduled in the coming weeks. Advisory panel members, representing commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen, fish house operators and others knowledgeable about fisheries issues, provide grass roots input into the fishery management process. 


Additional information, including meeting agendas, overviews and briefing book materials for the meetings will be posted on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Web site at www.safmc.net as they become available. Members of the public are invited to attend all meetings. Meetings will also be accessible online as they occur. Details for accessing the meetings online will be posted on the website as they become available. 


April 8-11, 2013 - Scientific and Statistical Committee Meeting and ORCS Workshop  

Reviews of black sea bass, cobia, and Spanish mackerel stock assessments top the agenda for a meeting of the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee in April. Members of the SSC will review the recent assessment update for black sea bass and the benchmark assessments for both cobia and Spanish mackerel conducted through the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) stock assessment program and provide fishing level recommendations for the Council to consider. The SSC will also provide recommendations for stock assessment priorities for 2015 and beyond (the schedule has been set for 2013-14), research priorities for the coming year, and review fishery independent sampling programs. 

Committee members will review several proposed amendments to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan, including Regulatory Amendment 14. Actions proposed in the amendment include changes to the fishing year for greater amberjack, increasing the minimum size limit for hogfish, changes to the black sea bass fishing year, and other measures. In addition, the SSC will provide input on measures proposed by the Council to provide additional protection to deepwater coral and transit provisions for rock shrimp vessels contained in Amendment 8 to the Coral Fishery Management Plan. Prior to the beginning of the SSC meeting, the ORCS (Only Reliable Catch Species) Workshop will be held beginning at 1:00 p.m. on April 8, 2013. Meeting location: Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel,4381 Tanger Outlet Boulevard, North Charleston, SC 29418; phone 800/503-5762 or 843/744-4422. 

 Read the complete news release for additional details on upcoming advisory panel meetings and a special one-day Council meeting scheduled via webinar for May 13, 2013 to address black sea bass.