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SAFMC’s Fall newsletter, South Atlantic Update, is available for viewing
The 2016 fall issue of the South Atlantic Update newsletter from the SAFMC is available now. To view and/or download a copy of the newsletter, click here.
NOAA Fisheries proposes to implement Special Management Zones in Federal Waters of the South Atlantic

NOAA Fisheries is requesting comments on an amendment that considers the establishment of Special Management Zones (SMZ) in federal waters of the South Atlantic region. The actions outlined in Amendment 36 to the Snapper-Grouper Fishery Management Plan of the South Atlantic region (Amendment 36) are intended to protect spawning, or reproducing, fish and their habitat. Comments are due by March 6, 2017.

Summary of Proposed Actions:

  • Implement five spawning SMZs in federal waters of the South Atlantic region off North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida.
  • Fishing for, retention, and possession of fish species in the snapper-grouper complex would be prohibited year-round by all fishers inside of the spawning SMZs.
  • Anchoring inside most of the spawning SMZs would not be allowed; however, transit with snapper-grouper species onboard would be allowed if gear is properly stowed in most spawning SMZs.
  • Most spawning SMZs would automatically go away in 10 years unless they are reauthorized.
  • Modify the SMZ procedure in the fishery management plan to allow for the designation of spawning SMZs and the framework procedure to allow spawning SMZs to be established or modified through the framework process, rather than through plan amendments.

For more information on the proposed SMZs and how to submit your comments, click here and here.

SAFMC is hosting a series of public hearings and scoping meetings in January and February

SAFMC will hold a series of public hearing/scoping meetings and webinars throughout Florida this month to collect public input on proposed management measures for yellowtail snapper, red snapper options and more. For more information on these sessions, click here.

Recreational harvest of red snapper remains closed in federal waters of the South Atlantic

For more information on this subject, click here.

Recreational harvest of hogfish in federal waters of the South Atlantic reopened January 1, 2017

For more information on this subject, click here.

Recreational harvest of greater amberjack in federal waters of the South Atlantic closed November 30, 2016 and will reopen March 1, 2017

The recreational harvest of greater amberjack has reached the recreational catch limit of 1,167,837 pounds whole weight for 2016. As a result, the recreational harvest of greater amberjack in federal waters of the South Atlantic will close from November 30, 2016, through February 28, 2017. This closure is necessary to protect the greater amberjack resource by limiting the amount of landings that exceed the recreational catch limit. Federal waters will reopen to the recreational harvest of greater amberjack on March 1, 2017.

During the closure, the recreational harvest or possession of greater amberjack is prohibited in or from federal waters in the South Atlantic. This regulation does not affect the recreational harvest of greater amberjack in state waters of the South Atlantic. For more information on this announcement, click here.
NOAA Fisheries announces new Text Message Alert Program

NOAA Fisheries announces the introduction of the Text Message Alert Program. The program allows anyone to sign up to receive important fishery related alerts via text message. Text alerts you may receive include immediate fishery openings and closures as well as any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly.

How to opt-in: Sign up for related alerts for one or more of the following groups. Standard message & data rates may apply. You may opt-out at any time.
  • South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries: Text SATLRECFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries: Text SATLCOMMFISH to 888777
  • Caribbean Fisheries: Text CARIBFISH to 888777
  • Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries: Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
  • Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries: Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777