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Reductions in harvest needed to end overfishing within the year

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is holding a series of 6 public scoping meetings to solicit public comment on an amendment to reduce both commercial and recreational harvest of gag grouper and vermilion snapper. Recent stock assessments show that overfishing is occurring for these economically important species.

During its June 2007 meeting, the Council received a report from its Scientific and Statistical Committee stating its approval of the Southeastern Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) stock assessments for gag and vermilion snapper. The Council is charged to end overfishing within a one year period and in response, has begun development of Amendment 16 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan for the South Atlantic. The Scientific and Statistical Committee determined that in order to fish at the Council’s Optimum Yield (OY), a reduction of 61% is needed for vermilion snapper. Substantial reductions in harvest are also anticipated for gag in order to end overfishing.

The scoping meetings and a public comment period are being held to receive input regarding possible measures to end overfishing, including modifications to current regulations and potential new measures (closed seasons, recreational boat limits, commercial trip limits, etc.) to achieve the necessary reductions. Alternatives will be included in Amendment 16. The Council is scheduled to approve the amendment for public hearings during its December 3-7, 2007 meeting in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. The final public scoping meeting will be held in conjunction with the September Council meeting in N. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (see schedule below).

Public scoping meetings for Snapper Grouper Amendment 16 will be held in coastal areas in the southeast. All meetings begin at 6:00 PM. Written comments for Amendment 16 are being accepted by the Council until 5:00 PM on September 17, 2007. Copies of the Amendment 16 scoping document will be posted on the Council’s web site at www.safmc.net or may be obtained from the Council office. Comments should be addressed to: Bob Mahood, Executive Director, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, Charleston, SC 29405. Email comments to: [email protected].


SNAPPER GROUPER AMENDMENT 16
PUBLIC SCOPING MEETINGS

All meetings are scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m.


September 4, 2007

Hilton Wilmington Riverside

301 N. Water Street

Wilmington, NC 28401

Phone: 910/763-5900


September 4, 2007

Sombrero Cay Clubs

19 Sombrero Blvd.

Marathon, FL 33050

Phone: 305/743-2250


September 5, 2007

Sheraton Atlantic Beach

2717 W. Fort Macon Road

Atlantic Beach, NC 28512

Phone: 252/240-1155


September 6, 2007

Hampton Inn Daytona

Speedway

1715 W. Int. Speedway Blvd.

Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Phone: 386/257-4030


September 10, 2007

Holiday Inn Charleston Airport

5264 International Blvd.

N. Charleston, SC 29418

Phone: 843/576-0300


September 17, 2007

Avista Resort

300 N. Ocean Blvd.

N. Myrtle Beach, SC 29582

Phone: 843/249-2521

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.

 

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Thanks for sharing this Randy. IMHO a very important topic and I agree that the numbers of Gags and B-liners has reduced. I hope that they don't become like the American Reds. I miss those wonderful fish and hope they eventually make a come back.

Mark
 

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What it might come to is what they did in Florida and Alabama.
Season closures, 1-2 per person boat bag limits.

Granted, will take the "motivation" to run out to catch them.. but in the long run will help the population in the bigger picture. I'm not one for constricting rules and regs, but might be justified with these reef/bottom dwellers.

Like we had talked about before, alot of them when caught, dont make it back to the bottom.. so maybe some education/awarness wouldn't hurt either...

I think slot limit up an inch or two would help. Bottom fish make the world go round.... got have some kinda protection on them.. but they also should re-evaluate population health too and be able to ease restrictions when warranted too..
 

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I think slot limit up an inch or two would help. Bottom fish make the world go round.... got have some kinda protection on them.. but they also should re-evaluate population health too and be able to ease restrictions when warranted too..
I agree Dave. Just like with the Silver Snapper. The limit on them has been one per person for about as long as I can remember and now you pull up on a hole and that is all you catch, so you have to leave. Of course split Silvers make excellent Grouper bait. They need to revisit the creel on Silver Snapper.
 
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