Tuesday, October 18, 2011

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

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council just released information on Public Hearings coming up on black sea bass, red grouper and wreckfish fisheries. The closest hearing will be on November 16th in Cape Canaveral at the Radisson Resort at the Port. Please see the press release below for more information.

Members of 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 fishing year for black sea bass begins June 1st.  For the 2011/2012 fishing season, 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 for 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 will close on October 17, 2011 and reopen 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.  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 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.   meeting
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, 2011 Council meeting. Begins at 5:30 PM

Monday, October 10, 2011

Florida Sea Grant Job Opportunity

Florida Sea Grant is searching for a full-time Sea Level Rise Outreach and Training Coordinator. They are looking for a highly motivated person to lead a program focused on effects of sea level rise on coastal natural resources.

If a prospective applicant goes here: https://jobs.ufl.edu/

Use Requisition No. 0809463.

Or, then can click on ‘staff positions’ in the blue box to the lower right.

Then scroll down the list of open jobs to ‘sea level rise coordinator’ and click on it.
This position is funded by a grant from the State of Florida for two years, however, we anticipate that it may be renewed on a biennial basis if the person is successful in developing and implementing a highly relevant program. The position location is at the FWC headquarters in Tallahassee, FL.


Karl E. Havens, Director and Professor
Florida Sea Grant, University of Florida
803 McCarty Drive, Gainesville, FL 32611
Office Phone: (352) 392-5870
Cell Phone: (352) 284-8558

Friday, October 7, 2011

SAFMC Releases New Fishery Bulletins

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) just released several new Fishery Bulletins. The Bulletins include an adjustment to the Annual Catch Limit for the recreational sea bass fishery and the anticipated closure of the fishery for the remaining fishing year. The Bulletins also include a temporary rule that closes the recreational sector of golden tilefish and several public comment notices. Please visit http://www.safmc.net/ to see updated fishery bulletins or view the list below.

Adjustments to 2011-2012 Recreational Annual Catch Limit for Black Sea Bass in the South Atlantic

NOAA Fisheries Service Announces a Temporary Rule that Closes the Recreational Sector of Golden Tilefish in the South Atlantic

NOAA Seeks Public Comment on Amendment 18 for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Species in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic to Establish Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures Comment Period Ends November 28th

NOAA Seeks Public Comment on the Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 2 Comment Period Ends November 25th

NOAA Fisheries Service Seeks Public Comment on a Proposed Rule for Spiny Lobster in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Comment Period Ends October 24th