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Public Hearings Scheduled for Snapper Grouper Management

Amendments address rebuilding for three snapper grouper species,

recreational sale, allocations, bycatch, and other issues

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold a series of public hearings beginning in November to solicit public comment on two amendments to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan for the South Atlantic. Amendment 15A addresses rebuilding of snowy grouper, black sea bass, and red porgy stocks. Amendment 15B contains actions to prohibit the sale of recreationally-caught snapper grouper species, reduce the effects of incidental hooking on sea turtles and smalltooth sawfish, change the commercial permit renewal period and transferability requirements, implement a plan to monitor and assess bycatch, and establish management reference points, such as Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) and Optimum Yield (OY) for golden tilefish. Amendment 15B will also establish allocations between commercial and recreational fishermen for snowy grouper and red porgy.



Stocks of snowy grouper, black sea bass and red porgy have been identified as overfished by the Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) stock assessment process. In response, the Council is developing Amendment 15A to establish rebuilding plans for these three economically important species in the snapper grouper management complex. Over the years 2001 – 2005, snowy grouper, red porgy, and black sea bass represented an average of 21% of the total annual commercial landings of snapper grouper in the South Atlantic valued at $7.73 million dollars. Regulations were implemented in October 2006 to end overfishing for snowy grouper and black sea bass, and allow for a moderate increase in the harvest of red porgy. These factors will be considered in the rebuilding plans.



Through Amendment 15B, the Council is considering options to prohibit the sale of recreationally caught snapper and grouper. Recent restrictions on commercial quotas have raised concerns that these recreationally harvested fish are being included in the commercial landings, and fish may be double counted with current recreational reporting methods. Allocations for snowy grouper and red porgy are also being addressed in Amendment 15B in order to establish commercial quotas and recreational allocations. A complete listing of all actions is contained in each amendment.





Written comments for Amendments15A are being accepted by the Council until 5:00 pm, December 3, 2007. Written comments for 15B are due by 5:00 p.m. on January 11, 2008. Copies of the Public Hearing Documents will be posted on the Council’s web site at SAFMC New Site > Home, and may also 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 Amendment 15A comments to: [email protected] and comments for Amendment 15B to: [email protected].



SNAPPER GROUPER AMENDMENTS 15A/15B PUBLIC

PUBLIC HEARING SCHEDULE



Hearings Begin at 6:00 p.m. except for 12/3/07*





November 13, 2007

Sombrero Cay Club

19 Sombrero Boulevard

Marathon, FL 33050

Phone: 305-743-2250



November 14, 2007

Sheraton Yankee Clipper Hotel

1140 Seabreeze Boulevard (A1A)

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Phone: 954-524-5551



November 15, 2007

Radisson Resort at the Port

8701 Astronaut Boulevard

Cape Canaveral, FL 32920

Phone: 321-784-0000



November 16, 2007

Comfort Inn Oceanfront

1515 North 1st Street

Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

Phone: 904-241-2311



November 27, 2007

Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum

175 Bourne Avenue

Pooler, GA 31322

Phone: 912-748-8888



November 28, 2007

Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Airport

5265 International Boulevard

North Charleston, SC 29418

Phone: 843-308-9330



November 28, 2007

Avista Resort

300 N. Ocean Boulevard

North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582

Phone: 843-249-2521



November 29, 2007

Shell Island Resort

2700 Lumina Avenue

Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480

Phone: 910-256-0418



November 30, 2007

NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island

374 Airport Road

Manteo, NC 27954

Phone: 252-473-3494



December 3, 2007 (*Begins at 7:00 p.m.)

Sheraton Atlantic Beach

2717 W. Fort Macon Road

Atlantic Beach, NC 28512

Phone: 252-240-1155





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.







Kim Iverson

Public Information Officer

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201

North Charleston, SC 29405

843/571-4366 or toll free 866/SAFMC-10

Fax 843/769-4520

[email protected]

SAFMC New Site > Home
 

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Mmmm... I can understand maybe the by-catch problem of commercial harvest for the bottom dwellers... but I would hope it wouldn't affect the recreational limit/harvest.

Grouper/snapper stock can rebound fairly quick though given the chance... and usually ya dont fish by yerself.. so a limit of 2 a day in my opinion is fair... the problem/slippery slope is how to deal with commercial harvest. They've always said snowy grouper for the last 11 years have been over-fished... I've tried to get into that area wich is a good haul to catch snowy's (large ones) and with the weather for recreational guys... that's a long haul to go especially from S. NC to grouper fish (Snowy's).

"Through Amendment 15B, the Council is considering options to prohibit the sale of recreationally caught snapper and grouper. Recent restrictions on commercial quotas have raised concerns that these recreationally harvested fish are being included in the commercial landings, and fish may be double counted with current recreational reporting methods. Allocations for snowy grouper and red porgy are also being addressed in Amendment 15B in order to establish commercial quotas and recreational allocations. A complete listing of all actions is contained in each amendment."

Banning sale I dont think is a good idea.. but lower the quota I would agree with as that would let the commercial guys still fish... the by-catch is the issue as I believe you definately dont want incidental kill of bottom dwellers... without them, you wont have much to fish....
 
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