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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - SAFMC Public Hearings

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Date: July 16, 2013
Contact: Kim Iverson
Phone: 877-SAFMC-10 or 843-571-4366
Email: kim.iverson@safmc.net

Public Hearings Scheduled in August for Proposed
Federal Fisheries Management Measures

Written comments accepted until August 18, 2013

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is requesting public input on proposed management measures affecting the fishery management plans for snapper grouper, dolphin and wahoo, coral, and coastal migratory pelagics (includes king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia). The public is encouraged to provide written comment and participate in upcoming public hearings scheduled from August 5-15, 2013 throughout the region on the proposed changes to management measures. The following amendments to fishery management plans are being considered:

Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 14 includes:

  • Changes to the fishing years for greater amberjack and black sea bass
  • Changes to the commercial trip limit for gag
  • Modifications to the commercial fishing seasons for vermilion snapper
  • Modifications to recreational accountability measures for vermilion snapper and black sea bass

Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 5 includes:

  • Modifications to the acceptable biological catches (ABCs), annual catch limits (ACLs), and annual catch targets (ACTs) for dolphin and wahoo to incorporate changes in the Marine Recreational Information Program
  • Proposed trip limits for the commercial dolphin fishery
  • Revised accountability measures for dolphin and wahoo
  • Changes to framework procedures

Coastal Migratory Pelagics Amendments 19, 20 and Framework includes:

  • Alternatives affecting the sale of bag limit king mackerel and Spanish mackerel (including tournament sale of king mackerel)
  • Elimination of inactive king mackerel permits
  • Modifications to income requirements for federal permits
  • Transit provisions
  • ACLs and targets for cobia
  • Commercial trip limits for king mackerel
  • Transfer at sea and gill net allowances for Spanish mackerel
  • Consideration of regional ACLs for king mackerel and Spanish mackerel
  • Changes to Framework procedures

Coral Amendment 8 includes:

  • Alternatives for expanding existing Deepwater Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPCs)
  • Transit provisions for the Oculina Bank HAPC located off the central east coast of Florida

Public Hearings
The Council will hold a series of public hearings from Key Largo, Florida to New Bern, North Carolina (see schedule below). Council staff will be on hand to provide an overview of the proposed measures and available for informal discussions and to answer questions. Members of the public will have an opportunity to go on record to provide comments for consideration by the Council. Local Council representatives will attend the hearings and listen to public comment. The Council will also have a summary available of its preliminary work towards developing a shared vision for the future of the snapper grouper fishery and staff will be on hand to answer questions.

SAFMC Public Hearing Schedule
4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
PLEASE NOTE: The location of the hearing in New Bern, NC has been changed from the earlier publicized hotel. The hearing will take place at the BridgePoint Hotel as advertised below.

Monday, August 5
Richmond Hill City Center
520 Cedar Street
Richmond Hill, GA 31324
Phone: 912-445-0043
Tuesday, August 6
Jacksonville Marriott
4670 Salisbury Road
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Phone: 904-296-2222
Wednesday, August 7
Doubletree Hilton Cocoa Beach
2080 N. Atlantic Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
Phone: 321-783-9222
Thursday, August 8
Hilton Key Largo
97000 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, FL 33037
Phone: 305-852-5553
Tuesday, August 13
Hilton Garden Inn
5265 International Boulevard
North Charleston, SC 29418
Phone: 843-308-9330
Thursday, August 15
BridgePoint Hotel
101 Howell Street
New Bern, NC 28582
877-283-7713
Submitting Written Comment
Written comments will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on August 18, 2013. Instructions for submitting comments, including email comments, are available from the Council's web site. Copies of the public hearing documents will be available on the website by July 23, 2013 and also available by contacting the Council office at 843-571-4366 or Toll Free 866-SAFMC-10.

Informal Q&A Webinars Scheduled
Prior to the public hearings, Council staff will conduct informal question and answer sessions via webinar on the various amendments in order to help the public become informed on the details of the proposed measures. The evening webinars are scheduled for July 29-31, 2013 starting at 6:00 p.m.. Registration is required and is available at the links below or from the public hearing page. Be sure to view the online video presentations prior to the Q&A Sessions. The presentations will be posted to the public hearing page beginning the week of July 22nd.
July 29: Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 5
July 30: Coastal Migratory Pelagics Amendments 19, 20, and Framework
July 31: Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 14 & Coral Amendment 8
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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