Tuesday, February 1, 2011

SAFMC Public Hearings/ Scoping Meetings Tonight in Cocoa Beach

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) will be holding public hearing/scoping meeting tonight at the International Palms Resort in Cocoa Beach from 3-7pm. Council staff will provide informal presentations and answer questions regarding proposed management measures. Local representatives of the SAFMC will be available to take formal comment from the public. Copies of public hearing and scoping documents are available at http://www.safmc.net.

The public hearing items include:
  1. Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment - Establishes Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures for species not currently listed as undergoing overfishing as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Includes species in the snapper grouper management complex plus dolphin, wahoo, and golden crab.
  2. Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 9 - Commercial trip limit options for greater amberjack, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, and gag grouper.
  3. Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 2 - Octocoral management actions, issues addressing Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) and EFH/Habitat Areas of Particular Concern, Special Management Zones in South Carolina, and requirements for sea turtle release gear in the commercial snapper grouper fishery.
The public scoping issues include:
  1. Comprehensive Catch Shares Amendment - Options for catch share programs for species currently managed through quotas (except snowy grouper), effort and participation reduction, and endorsement actions.
  2. Snapper Grouper Amendment 22 - Explores options for the long-term management of red snapper as the stock begins to rebuild.
  3. Snapper Grouper Amendment 23 - Management measures to end overfishing and rebuild the red grouper stock as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
  4. Golden Crab Amendment 5 - Implementation of a catch share program for the commercial golden crab fishery.