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Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives - June 2013

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Date: June 18, 2013
Contact: Kim Iverson
Phone: 843-571-4366
Email: kim.iverson@safmc.net

Federal Fishery Managers Decide Against Requirement for
Vessel Monitoring Systems

Council considers public comment before taking vote on VMS;
approves several amendments for public hearings


After considering public comment and recommendations from its advisory panels, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has decided not to move forward with an amendment that would have required the use of Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) for vessels with a Federal Commercial Snapper Grouper Permit in the South Atlantic. The decision was made during the Council's quarterly meeting last week in Stuart, Florida. The Council received over 300 written comments from the public on Amendment 30 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan that proposed the use of the satellite-based systems to enhance enforcement capabilities and data collection. The Council held a series of public hearings in April regarding the amendment and the majority of participants voiced strong opposition to the requirement. Fishermen cited costs associated with VMS as a primary concern, including installation, maintenance, and monthly fees for service. A federal fund is currently available to pay for the units, similar to an onboard computer, up to $3,100. Fishermen and others also cited concerns about being monitored while fishing, referring to the units as "ankle bracelets", and questioned the need for VMS for data collection purposes. The Council will continue to explore options to improve electronic data collection.

Amendments Approved for Public Hearing
The Council also continued to review a broad range of management measures and approved six draft amendments for public hearings to be held August 5-15, 2013. The hearings will be held from New Bern, N.C. to Key Largo, Fla. and the specific dates and locations will be announced once they are finalized.

  • Regulatory Amendment 14 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan — The draft regulatory amendment addresses proposed changes for species within the snapper grouper management complex including greater amberjack, gag grouper, vermilion snapper, and black sea bass.
     
  • Amendment 5 to the Dolphin Wahoo Fishery Management Plan — The draft amendment includes minor revisions to the acceptable biological catch, annual catch limits, and other management parameters for dolphin and wahoo to incorporate updates to the Marine Recreational Information Program. Additionally, the amendment includes measures for revising the framework procedure for dolphin and wahoo, and establishment of commercial trip limits for dolphin.
     
  • Amendments 19, 20 and Framework to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan — Three draft amendments affecting fisheries for king mackerel, Spanish mackerel and cobia are being developed jointly by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. Issues include: 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; annual catch limits and targets for cobia; transfer at sea and gillnet allowances for Spanish mackerel; trip limits for king mackerel; and consideration of regional annual catch limits for king mackerel and Spanish mackerel.
     
  • Amendment 8 to the Coral Fishery Management Plan — The amendment includes alternatives for expanding protection of of Deepwater Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPCs) and transit provisions through the Oculina Bank HAPC located off the central east coast of Florida.

Other Actions:

Red Snapper
NOAA Fisheries' Southeast Fisheries Science Center provided the Council with an update on the calculations for establishing the Annual Catch Limit for red snapper in 2013 and provided estimates for how long the recreational and commercial mini-seasons may last this year.

See the complete news release for additional information about the amendments approved for public hearings and the latest on red snapper.

The next meeting of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is scheduled for September 16-20, 2013 in Charleston, S.C.. Details for the meeting and meeting materials will be posted at www.safmc.net as they become available.

061713 safmc


Release: Immediate|
Date: June 3, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

State Seeks Applicants for Saltwater Fishing License Projects

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is accepting applications for proposals for the 2013-14 funding cycle from the N.C. Marine Resources Fund.

The fund, which receives proceeds from the sale of Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses, provides grants for projects that help manage, protect, restore, develop, cultivate and enhance the state’s marine resources.

Only universities, local and state governmental entities in North Carolina, and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission are eligible to apply. Others must partner with one of these eligible entities.

Proposals will be evaluated based on the Coastal Recreational Fishing License Strategic Plan for the Conservation and Improvement of North Carolina’s Marine Resources. The plan considers priority research needs identified in fishery management plans approved by the Marine Fisheries Commission, issues identified in the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan and research needs identified cooperatively with other agencies. The strategic plan can be found on the Division of Marine Fisheries’ website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=585d10cc-7591-408c-b5a0-f44ff893673e&groupId=38337.

Projects submitted for this funding cycle should fall under one of three programmatic areas:

Fish — Projects that estimate recreational fishing effort, harvest and mortality of important coastal recreational fish species, the socio-economic attributes of coastal recreational fisheries or the characterization of catch and release mortality;

Habitat — Projects that improve the effectiveness of existing environmental programs or that identify, designate or protect coastal recreational fish habitat;

People — Projects that provide increased access to recreational fisheries resources and enhancement structures or provide better public education and enrichment products.

All proposals must be submitted to the director of the state Division of Marine Fisheries by 5 p.m. July 31. Directions for submitting a proposal and an application form can be downloaded from the Division of Marine Fisheries’ website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/crfl-grants-projects-applications-procedures. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

For more information, contact Coastal Recreational Fishing License Grant Project Coordinator Beth Govoni at 252-808-8004 or 800-682-2632 or Beth.Govoni@ncdenr.gov.

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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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