Monday, October 18, 2010

SAFMC Snapper Grouper Amendment 18A Public Hearings

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is holding public hearings on Snapper Grouper Amendment 18A. The closest meeting is on October 27th at the Hampton Inn Daytona Speedway, 1715 W. International Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL from 4-7pm. Members of the public are invited to attend the hearings, learn more about the issues from Council staff and provide formal comments to area Council members in attendance. Written comments will be accepted until November 12th and can be sent via email to: or hard copies to: Robert K. Mahood, Executive Director, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC, 29405.

Amendment 18A primarily focuses on measures for the commercial golden tilefish and black sea bass fisheries to account for anticipated effort shifts to those fisheries as regulations become more restrictive for other snapper grouper species: Proposed actions:
  1. Limit participation in the commercial golden tilefish fishery through a gear endorsement program (hook & line and longline): establish criteria for transferability of endorsements and trip limits for fishermen who do not receive an endorsement
  2. Change the golden tilefish fishing year, modify commercial trip limits, and allocate the commercial quota between gear types
  3. Modify the black sea bass fishery to limit participation and effort and reduce bycatch in the fishery, including: limits to tag distribution and the number of tags/pots a fisherman can deploy and limiting the time period pots can be deployed
  4. Methods to improve the accuracy, timing and quantity of fisheries data (for both for-hire and commericial fisheries).
Copies of the Amendment 18A Public Hearing Document will be posted on the Council's website at or available from the Council office by October 22nd.