Public Hearings Scheduled for Black Sea Bass, Red Grouper and Wreckfish Fisherie

Public Hearings Scheduled for Black Sea Bass, Red Grouper and Wreckfish Fisheries

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold a series of seven public hearings beginning

November 14, 2011 to solicit public input on management measures impacting federal fisheries for black sea bass,

red grouper, and wreckfish. Amendments are being developed to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan

in order to: address overcapacity in the commercial black sea bass pot fishery and reduce the rate of harvest for

both commercial and recreational sectors; end overfishing and rebuild the red grouper stock; and address the

current Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) program for wreckfish.

Black Sea Bass Restrictions: Amendment 18A

Annual Catch Limits (in numbers of pounds) have been established by the Council for black sea bass as

mandated in the Magnuson-Stevens Conservation and Management Act to end overfishing and help rebuild the

stock. Increased restrictions on the harvest of other species in the snapper grouper complex have led to an

increase in fishing effort for black sea bass. As a result, the catch limits have been reached earlier by both

commercial and recreational fishermen, resulting in closures. The 2011/2012 fishing year for black sea bass began

June 1, 2011. The commercial fishery met its ACL in just 45 days and the fishery was closed. After NOAA

Fisheries Service accounted for overages in landings by the recreational sector during the 2010/2011 season, it

was announced the recreational fishery had met its adjusted ACL of 341,747 pounds for this fishing year. The

recreational black sea bass fishery closed on October 17, 2011 and reopens June 1, 2012. Amendment 18A is

being developed to limit the commercial black sea bass pot fishery and reduce harvest rates for both commercial

and recreational sectors. A new stock assessment for black sea bass is currently underway and the Council will

receive the results of the assessment during its December 5-9, 2011 meeting in Raleigh, NC.

Measures Included in Amendment 18A:

· For the commercial black sea bass pot fishery: limit participation through an endorsement program, limit

the number of pots used during a permit year, and other measures to limit harvest and reduce bycatch

· Establish commercial trip limits (all gear types)

· Increase size limits (commercial and recreational)

· Establish a spawning season closure (for both commercial and recreational sectors)

· Modify the current rebuilding strategy to allow for an increase in the Annual Catch Limit as the stock

continues to rebuild, based on the results of the most recent stock assessment.

· Improve commercial and for-hire data reporting requirements

Ending Overfishing and Rebuilding Red Grouper: Amendment 24

A stock assessment conducted in 2010 identified the red grouper stock in the South Atlantic region as

overfished and undergoing overfishing. Amendment 24 will set Annual Catch Limits and Accountability

Measures, establish a rebuilding plan, and revise certain population parameters for red grouper to end overfishing

and rebuild the stock. The amendment also establishes allocations between recreational and commercial sectors.

Wreckfish ITQs: Amendment 20A

Wreckfish, a deepwater species in the snapper grouper management complex, is currently harvested through an

Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) program. With an anticipated reduction in the Annual Catch Limit for

wreckfish, the Council is considering measures to adjust the distribution of wreckfish shares in order to remove

inactive effort and allow the commercial sector’s ACL to be harvested effectively.

(Public hearing dates and locations on back)

(Continued)

Public hearings for the amendments will take place from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM unless otherwise noted. Note:

some hearings will be held on concurrent dates. Council staff will provide an overview of each amendment and be on

hand to answer questions. Local Council representatives will take formal comments on the public hearing documents

any time between those hours. The Council is accepting written and email comments from October 21, 2011 until

5:00 p.m. on November 21, 2011. Copies of the public hearing documents with details on how to submit written

comments will be posted on the Council’s web site at www.safmc.net and available by contacting the Council office

at 843/571-4366 or Toll Free 866/SAFMC-10.

Public Hearing Schedule

Monday, November 14

Avista Resort

300 N. Ocean Boulevard

Myrtle Beach, SC 29582

Phone: 843/249-2521

Monday, November 14

Hampton Inn Savannah/Midtown

20 Johnston Street

Savannah, GA 31405

Phone: 912/721-3700

Tuesday, November 15

(5:30 – 7:30 PM)

Charleston Marriott Hotel

170 Lockwood Boulevard

Charleston, SC 29403

Phone: 843/723-3000

Tuesday, November 15

Jacksonville Marriott

4670 Salisbury Road

Jacksonville, FL 32256

Phone: 904/296-2222

Wednesday, November 16

Radisson Resort at the Port

8701 Astronaut Blvd.

Cape Canaveral, FL 32920

Phone: 321/784-0000

Thursday, November 17

Key Largo Bay Marriott

103800 Overseas Highway

Key Largo, FL 33037

Phone: 305/453-0000

*Tuesday, December 6

Holiday Inn Brownstone

1707 Hillsborough Street

Raleigh, NC 27605

Phone: 919/828-0811

*Hearing in conjunction with the December 5-9

Council meeting and begins at 5:30 PM

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, one of eight regional councils, conserves and manages fish

stocks from three to 200 miles offshore of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and east Florida.

 

Cheryl Gilgo

Public Affairs Assistant

252-808-8137

Public Hearings Scheduled for Black Sea Bass, Red Grouper and Wreckfish Fisheries

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold a series of seven public hearings beginning

November 14, 2011 to solicit public input on management measures impacting federal fisheries for black sea bass,

red grouper, and wreckfish. Amendments are being developed to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan

in order to: address overcapacity in the commercial black sea bass pot fishery and reduce the rate of harvest for

both commercial and recreational sectors; end overfishing and rebuild the red grouper stock; and address the

current Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) program for wreckfish.

Black Sea Bass Restrictions: Amendment 18A

Annual Catch Limits (in numbers of pounds) have been established by the Council for black sea bass as

mandated in the Magnuson-Stevens Conservation and Management Act to end overfishing and help rebuild the

stock. Increased restrictions on the harvest of other species in the snapper grouper complex have led to an

increase in fishing effort for black sea bass. As a result, the catch limits have been reached earlier by both

commercial and recreational fishermen, resulting in closures. The 2011/2012 fishing year for black sea bass began

June 1, 2011. The commercial fishery met its ACL in just 45 days and the fishery was closed. After NOAA

Fisheries Service accounted for overages in landings by the recreational sector during the 2010/2011 season, it

was announced the recreational fishery had met its adjusted ACL of 341,747 pounds for this fishing year. The

recreational black sea bass fishery closed on October 17, 2011 and reopens June 1, 2012. Amendment 18A is

being developed to limit the commercial black sea bass pot fishery and reduce harvest rates for both commercial

and recreational sectors. A new stock assessment for black sea bass is currently underway and the Council will

receive the results of the assessment during its December 5-9, 2011 meeting in Raleigh, NC.

Measures Included in Amendment 18A:

· For the commercial black sea bass pot fishery: limit participation through an endorsement program, limit

the number of pots used during a permit year, and other measures to limit harvest and reduce bycatch

· Establish commercial trip limits (all gear types)

· Increase size limits (commercial and recreational)

· Establish a spawning season closure (for both commercial and recreational sectors)

· Modify the current rebuilding strategy to allow for an increase in the Annual Catch Limit as the stock

continues to rebuild, based on the results of the most recent stock assessment.

· Improve commercial and for-hire data reporting requirements

Ending Overfishing and Rebuilding Red Grouper: Amendment 24

A stock assessment conducted in 2010 identified the red grouper stock in the South Atlantic region as

overfished and undergoing overfishing. Amendment 24 will set Annual Catch Limits and Accountability

Measures, establish a rebuilding plan, and revise certain population parameters for red grouper to end overfishing

and rebuild the stock. The amendment also establishes allocations between recreational and commercial sectors.

Wreckfish ITQs: Amendment 20A

Wreckfish, a deepwater species in the snapper grouper management complex, is currently harvested through an

Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) program. With an anticipated reduction in the Annual Catch Limit for

wreckfish, the Council is considering measures to adjust the distribution of wreckfish shares in order to remove

inactive effort and allow the commercial sector’s ACL to be harvested effectively.

(Public hearing dates and locations on back)

(Continued)

Public hearings for the amendments will take place from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM unless otherwise noted. Note:

some hearings will be held on concurrent dates. Council staff will provide an overview of each amendment and be on

hand to answer questions. Local Council representatives will take formal comments on the public hearing documents

any time between those hours. The Council is accepting written and email comments from October 21, 2011 until

5:00 p.m. on November 21, 2011. Copies of the public hearing documents with details on how to submit written

comments will be posted on the Council’s web site at www.safmc.net and available by contacting the Council office

at 843/571-4366 or Toll Free 866/SAFMC-10.

Public Hearing Schedule

Monday, November 14

Avista Resort

300 N. Ocean Boulevard

Myrtle Beach, SC 29582

Phone: 843/249-2521

Monday, November 14

Hampton Inn Savannah/Midtown

20 Johnston Street

Savannah, GA 31405

Phone: 912/721-3700

Tuesday, November 15

(5:30 – 7:30 PM)

Charleston Marriott Hotel

170 Lockwood Boulevard

Charleston, SC 29403

Phone: 843/723-3000

Tuesday, November 15

Jacksonville Marriott

4670 Salisbury Road

Jacksonville, FL 32256

Phone: 904/296-2222

Wednesday, November 16

Radisson Resort at the Port

8701 Astronaut Blvd.

Cape Canaveral, FL 32920

Phone: 321/784-0000

Thursday, November 17

Key Largo Bay Marriott

103800 Overseas Highway

Key Largo, FL 33037

Phone: 305/453-0000

*Tuesday, December 6

Holiday Inn Brownstone

1707 Hillsborough Street

Raleigh, NC 27605

Phone: 919/828-0811

*Hearing in conjunction with the December 5-9

Council meeting and begins at 5:30 PM

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, one of eight regional councils, conserves and manages fish

stocks from three to 200 miles offshore of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and east Florida.

 

Cheryl Gilgo

Public Affairs Assistant

252-808-8137

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