Snapper Grouper Discard Mortality Reduction & Private Rec. Permitting
(Amendments 35 & 46)
The last year or so the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (SAFMC) has been working on multiple Snapper Grouper Amendments. Amendments 35 and 46 were voted on and approved for scoping and public comment at the December SAFMC meeting. Informational webinars with opportunities to provide public comment for both amendments are scheduled soon (Amendment 46 webinar is scheduled for January 30th and February 6th at 6pm and Amendment 35 webinar is scheduled for January 31st at 6pm). Links below.
Amendment 35 looks at two actions:
- Reducing the acceptable biological catch, total annual catch limit, and sector annual catch limits while also establishing an annual optimum yield for South Atlantic Red Snapper.
- Prohibit the use of more than one hook per line for the Snapper Grouper recreational sector.
The short history background for Amendment 35 is South Atlantic Red Snapper have been in a rebuilding plan since 2011, the stock is deemed overfished with overfishing occurring. This all means that Red Snapper annual harvest levels must be lowered. Usually, a few years of lower harvests would be enough to rebuild a stock, but since, according to SAFMC staff, “overfishing of red snapper is being primarily driven by high numbers of dead discards by the recreational sector”, I do not think setting a lower harvest level is going to help much.
In fact, dead discards account for 85% of the allowable removals of red snapper. SAFMC staff notes that 230,000 red snappers can be sustainably removed in 2023, but since 202,000 red snappers are projected to be dead discards, only 28,000 are left to be landed! Hence the short recreational derby seasons and low commercial trip limits!
SAFMC staff also wrote in bold:
“Due to the high proportion of removals being dead discards, reduction of landings alone, even to no allowable landings, will not end overfishing of red snapper. Therefore, in order to end overfishing of red snapper, the Council must also reduce dead discards of red snapper.”
Which leads us to Action 2 in Amendment 35:
Limiting the recreational sector to one hook per line in the Snapper Grouper fisheries.
Many ideas were discussed by the SAFMC to reduce recreational effort in an attempt to reduce recreational Snapper Grouper discards. However, only two made it to the scoping document and one of those was “considered but rejected” (banning the recreational use of hydraulic/electric reels).
The best idea to reduce recreational discards was actually brought up by the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Administrator. He basically told the council that none of the measures discussed were enough to end overfishing and he requested the council to at least consider area and/or depth closures to go out for scoping and public comment.
If memory serves me correctly, the SAFMC did not even bite on the Regional Administrators request and area/depth closure options were not even truly considered. Instead, the council chose to send only the one hook per line idea to scoping. It seems to me if you have an overfished stock that is plagued with an 85% dead discard issue you would look at every possible solution, especially one suggested by a person who works with 3 regional management councils and is also the head of the NOAA Southeast Regional Offices!
But there is still time. Questions for consideration to the public do include your opinions on other options to improve management of Red Snapper and the Snapper Grouper fishery. Maybe if enough public input requesting more effort control is received, we can eventually take more fish home to eat and sell.
Amendment 46 is only reviewing one action:
- Private recreational permitting for the Snapper Grouper fishery.
This of course is long overdue. The private recreational sector is the last group without mandatory reporting in the Snapper Grouper fishery. And since private anglers accounted for 92% of all recreational Snapper Grouper landings the last 5 years, wouldn’t their information give us the most data for management?
Any amount of information collected from a mandatory private recreational permit would be useful. Just a number of participants would be one less estimate fisheries managers would have to calculate and thereby reduce some, as SAFMC says, “concern at times with existing estimates of recreational catches”.
One thing not mentioned in Amendment 46 is observation of recreational fishermen. With recreational dead discards becoming the greatest source of removals in many fisheries, we have to get observer data on what recreational fishermen are releasing. Whether it’s done on board with the anglers or if a group of observers has to use their own vessel to monitors multiple boats each day, recreational release data needs to be collected so we can begin figuring out better solutions to curtail the discard problems causing so many fisheries to be overfished with overfishing occurring.
If you have time listen in tonight and/or tomorrow. And feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.
Amendment 35 Webinar Registration and Documents
Amendment 46 Webinar Registration and Documents
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: 1.30.2023
Here are the contact number for the two committees most likely to take up bills affecting commercial fishing:
SENATE AGRICULTURE, ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE:
Senator Lisa Barnes, Co-Chair; Lisa.Barnes@ncleg.gov; (919) 715-3030
Senator Brent Jackson, Co-Chair; Brent.Jackson@ncleg.gov; (919) 733-5705
Senator Norman Sanderson, Co-Chair; Norman.Sanderson@ncleg.gov; (919) 733-5706
Jim Burgin; Jim.Burgin@ncleg.gov; (919) 733-5748
David Craven David.Craven@ncleg.gov; (919) 733-5870
Michael Garrett, Michael.Garrett@ncleg.gov; (919) 733-5856
Lisa Grafstein, Lisa.Grafstein@ncleg.gov; (919) 733-9349
Bobby Hanig, Bobby.Hanig@ncleg.gov; (919) 715-8293
Rachel Hunt, Rachel.Hunt@ncleg.gov; (919) 715-8331
Steve Jarvis, Steve.Jarvis@ncleg.gov; (919) 733-5743
Tom McInnis, Tom.McInnis@ncleg.gov; (919) 733-5953
Natalie Murdock, Natalie.Murdock@ncleg.gov; (919) 733-4599
Buck Newton, Buck.Newton@ncleg.gov; (919) 733-5878
Paul Newton, Paul.Newton@ncleg.gov; (919) 733-7223
Dean Proctor, Dean.Proctor@ncleg.gov; (919) 733-5876
Bill Rabon, Bill.Rabon@ncleg.gov; (919) 733-5963
DeAndrea Salvador, DeAndrea.Salvador@ncleg.gov; (919) 733-5655
Eddie Settle, Eddie.Settle@ncleg.gov; (919) 733-5742
Kandie Smith, Kandie.Smith@ncleg.gov; (919) 715-8363
Mike Woodard, Mike.Woodard@ncleg.gov; (919) 733-4809
HOUSE MARINE RESOURCES AND AQUACULTURE:
Representative George Cleveland, Chair; George.Cleveland@ncleg.gov; 910-346-3866
Representative Celeste Cairns, Vice Chair; Celeste.Cairns@ncleg.gov; 919-733-6275
Ed Goodwin, Edward.Goodwin@ncleg.gov; 252-482-8168
Wesley Harris, PhD, Wesley.Harris@ncleg.gov; 919-733-5886
Pricey Harrison, Pricey.Harrison@ncleg.gov; 919-733-5771
Frank Iler, Frank.Iler@ncleg.gov; 919-301-1450
Keith Kidwell, Keith.Kidwell@ncleg.gov; 919-733-5881
Tim Longest, Tim.Longest@ncleg.gov; 919-733-5773
Charles Miller, Charles.Miller@ncleg.gov; 919-733-5830
Harry Warren, Harry.Warren@ncleg.gov; 919-733-5784
God bless, Jerry Schill
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NCFA MEMBERSHIP ACTION IS NEEDED: PLEASE HELP COMPLETE THE BELOW MENTIONED QUESTIONNAIRE.
BENEFITS FOR PARTICIPATING IN QUESTIONNAIRE:
- TO KEEP TARRIF’S IN PLACE FOR IMPORTED SHRIMP.
- PARTICIPANTS MAY BE ELIGIBLE IF ANY FUNDING MAY BECOME AVAILABLE
As indicated below, the U.S. International Trade Commission has now issued questionnaires in its sunset review proceeding to the U.S. shrimp industry, U.S. shrimp importers, U.S. shrimp purchasers, and exporters and processors in the Chinese, Indian, Thai, and Vietnamese shrimp industries.
The responses to these questionnaires, which are due on or before February 6, 2023, will provide the basis for the Commission’s analysis as to whether to keep the antidumping duty orders on Chinese, Indian, Thai, and Vietnamese shrimp in place for another five years.
The Commission has asked us to distribute the U.S. farmers’/fishermen’s questionnaire, which is attached to this e-mail. Also attached to this e-mail are two other documents: (1) the agency’s transmittal cover letter and (2) a schedule of the Commission’s sunset review proceedings.
The Commission requests that the questionnaire be completed electronically in the MS Word-formatted document in the attachment. Instructions for filing a response with the Commission are provided at the end of the questionnaire and in the e-mail from Commission staff appended below.
Compared to the other questionnaires issued by the Commission, the U.S. farmers’/fishermen’s questionnaire requests a limited amount of information. The most significant question is presented at Question III-1, which requests information regarding your business operations for three calendar years: 2019, 2020, and 2021. Please note that information regarding the most recent calendar year, 2022, is not being sought in response to this question.
We recognize that responding to this questionnaire will take some time. However, the continuation of trade relief on dumped imports from the four countries (China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam) is dependent upon the domestic industry providing information regarding its business operations. In the absence of such information, the Commission will be unable to determine whether the removal of antidumping duties would likely cause the continuation or recurrence of material injury to the U.S. shrimp industry.
Thank you, in advance, for your assistance in meeting the U.S. International Trade Commission’s request for information
Below is the original request with links available
To Whom It May Concern:
The United States International Trade Commission is investigating frozen warmwater shrimp under the provisions of Subtitle C of Title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930.
In this proceeding, the Commission must determine whether revocation of the antidumping duty orders on frozen warmwater shrimp from China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United States within a reasonably foreseeable time.
Your firm has been identified as a possible farmer/fisherman of frozen warmwater shrimp. Please complete and submit the farmer/fisherman questionnaire per the instructions below. Additional information pertaining to this proceeding can be found on the USITC’s website at: https://www.usitc.gov/investigations/701731/2022/frozen_warmwater_shrimp_china_india_thailand_and/third_review_full.htm
Please complete the questionnaire electronically in the MS Word document. Instructions for filing your response can be found on last page of the questionnaire, or to upload your response to the secure drop box:
Upload via Secure Drop Box.—Upload the completed questionnaire in MS Word format along with a scanned copy of the signed certification page (page 1) through the Commission’s secure upload facility: Web address: https://dropbox.usitc.gov/oinv/ Pin: SHRIMP
Please return the completed questionnaire to the Commission no later than Monday, February 6, 2022.
Office of Investigations
U.S. International Trade Commission
If you have any questions, please contact:
Southern Shrimp Alliance
955 E Martin Luther King Jr Dr Suite D, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689