The Senate & House budget conferees sent their compromise budget to Governor Cooper for his review. It’s still hush-hush until the Governor reviews. The hope is to avoid a veto so the negotiations are ongoing.

God bless,





The South Atlantic Bite

Newsworthy Notes – October 21, 2021



SAFMC Scientific and Statistical Committee Meeting

October 27-29, 2021


Members of the South Atlantic Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee will meet next week via webinar to address a long list of agenda items affecting fisheries managed by the Council. Each of the eight regional fishery management councils in the U.S. has a Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC). Members include economists, biologists, sociologists, and natural resource attorneys who are knowledgeable about the technical aspects of fisheries in the region.


SSC members are responsible for reviewing the scientific basis of council management plans and actions and developing fishing level recommendations. SSC members also play a key role in developing stock assessments for Council managed resources through participation in SEDAR, the Southeast Data Assessment and Review stock assessment program.


The SSC will have focused discussions on:

·  Atlantic Scamp (grouper)

·  Gray Triggerfish

·  Tilefish (golden)

·  Gag grouper


In addition, the SSC will receive a presentation on ecosystem impacts of high Red Snapper recruitment, discuss Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology, and other topics. The meeting briefing book materials, online comment form, and webinar registration information is available from the Council’s website. The meeting is open to the public via webinar and registration is required.



Council Seeks Advisors on Social and Economic Topics

As part of its Scientific and Statistical Committee, the Council has a specific sub-group, known as the Socio-Economic Panel (SEP). The SEP is made up of social scientists and economists who advise the SSC and the Council on social and economic topics that relate to fisheries management measures and analysis. The SEP typically meets once a year over a two-day period. The Council is currently accepting applications for SEP members. Applications are due by November 5, 2021. Questions and completed applications should be submitted to John Hadley at john.hadley@safmc.net or (843) 302-8432.



Seats Open on Council’s Advisory Panels and System Management Plan Workgroup

Apply Now! Applications due November 12th


The South Atlantic Council is currently seeking applicants for open seats on several of its advisory panels or to serve as a fishing representative on the System Management Plan (SMP) Workgroup. The SMP Workgroup addresses the needs of managed areas in federal waters in the South Atlantic. Advisory panel members provide recommendations for the Council’s consideration at the grassroots level. They provide advice on trends in fisheries, environmental concerns relative fishery ecosystems, enforcement issues, and management impacts on fishermen and fishing communities.


Advisory panel members serve 3-year terms and may be reappointed to serve a maximum of three consecutive terms. The Council’s advisory panels meet once or twice each year and per diem costs are covered if travel is required. See the recent news release for details, including a list of open seats. Application forms are available online and due by November 12, 2021 for consideration by the Council during its December meeting.



Public Scoping Meetings Scheduled for Input on Yellowtail Snapper Fishery

Webinar meetings scheduled for November 2 and 3, 2021. Register now to attend via webinar and provide comments


Yellowtail Snapper are a popular target for both commercial and recreational fishermen in the warm waters off the Florida coast. A recent stock assessment shows the stock is healthy – not overfished or undergoing overfishing. That’s the good news. Catch levels must now be adjusted based on the results of the assessment and on recommendations from the Council’s SSC. The new stock assessment used revised recreational landings estimates, and allocations must also be addressed.


The Yellowtail Snapper stock spans both the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s jurisdictions. The councils are developing options jointly for new catch levels and other measures through Snapper Grouper Amendment 44 in the South Atlantic and Reef Fish Amendment 55 in the Gulf. The Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) for the Yellowtail Snapper fishery is currently allocated 75/25 between the South Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, the current Annual Catch Limit in the South Atlantic is divided 52.56% commercial and 47.44% recreational. Amendment 44 includes options to modify these allocations as well as proposed changes to commercial trip limits for Yellowtail Snapper.


The Council will hold public scoping meetings via webinar for Snapper Grouper Amendment 44 on Tuesday, November 2 and Wednesday, November 3 beginning at 6 p.m. each evening. Register now to attend a webinar by clicking the date(s). Public scoping documents, presentations, and an online comment form will be posted as they become available on the Council’s website.



Additional Snippets:


Spiny Lobster Study Takes You Inside a Lobster Trap

Information useful for the commercial fishery

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute lobster team placed cameras inside traps to better understand the behavior and dynamics of spiny lobster interactions inside these traps. Ultimately, the video analysis will provide information useful for management of the trap fishery. During the study, cameras caught several species known to interact with traps and the lobsters inside, including triggerfish and stone crabs. A double-crested cormorant and nurse shark poke inside, while the Spiny Lobsters remain vigilant, using their spiny antennae and group defense to avoid attacks! Watch the video available on social media.


$7.5M Grant Will Fund Study of Offshore Wind Energy’s Impacts on Sea Life

A team of scientists led by Duke University researchers will set out to determine the risk offshore wind turbines could pose to birds, fish and marine mammals with the support of a U.S. Department of Energy grant. What they learn will inform decisions about the locations of future wind farms and help identify steps that can be taken to reduce harmful impacts on wildlife as offshore wind deployment increases. Read the article from Duke Nicholas School of the Environment


Creep Into the Deep this Halloween!

In the dark of the deep ocean NOAA Remote Vehicles film creatures that could practically come from another world. The are fascinating, beautiful and mysterious. The are so bizarre to us because they’ve evolved in an environment that is completely different from ours. This Halloween, learn more about the wild marine animals that thrive in some of the darkest places on earth. Creep Into the Deep with this Ocean Science Video Collection!


Mark Your Calendar

Keep track of meetings scheduled by the Council from the website and register for meeting webinars as information becomes available. Register early and receive email reminders as the meeting date(s) approach!


October 27-29, 2021

Scientific and Statistical Committee Meeting

Webinar Registration


November 2 and 3, 2021 at 6 p.m.

Yellowtail Snapper Public Scoping Meetings

(Snapper Grouper Amendment 44)

Tuesday, November 2 – Webinar Registration

Wednesday, November 3 Webinar Registration


November 3-4, 2021

Habitat Advisory Panel Meeting


November 18-19, 2021

Outreach and Communications Advisory Panel Meeting


December 6-10, 2021

SAFMC Meeting

Beaufort, NC



About the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council


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. For more information, visit:





Get Answers to Your eVTR Questions: Council to Host Q&A Session – October 26, 5:00 p.m.

Beginning on November 10, 2021, all commercial vessels with federal permits for species managed by the Mid-Atlantic or New England Council will be required to submit vessel trip reports (VTRs) electronically as eVTRs within 48 hours of the end of a trip. Vessel operators have several NOAA Fisheries-approved eVTR applications to choose from. Many commercial operators have chosen the eTrips/mobile 2 or NOAA Fish Online applications.

In preparation for the upcoming implementation of these new requirements, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold an informal question and answer session on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. Participants can join by Webex webinar or call in by phone (details below). Staff from the Mid-Atlantic Council, NOAA/GARFO, and ACCSP will be available to answer your questions about all things related to electronic reporting and using eTrips/mobile 2 or NOAA Fish Online. The webinar will begin at 5:00 p.m. and will be open for at least an hour, but staff will remain online longer if needed to address any outstanding questions.

This is a great opportunity to get answers to your questions about using eTrips/mobile 2 or Fish Online. Questions that have been addressed in recent training webinars include:

  • Can I report the use of different gears or different fishing areas in a single trip?
  • Can I edit a trip once I have submitted it?
  • How can I complete my trip if I don’t have WiFi or cellular connection at sea?

Webinar and Call-In Information

  • Click here to join the webinar (If prompted, enter Meeting number: 2341 450 5348; Meeting password: nKjY7pD6vM2)
  • To join by phone: Dial 1-844-621-3956 and enter Access Code: 23414505348

Additional eVTR Resources

Commercial fishermen are encouraged to transition to electronic reporting as soon as possible to allow time for any issues to be addressed before the November 10 implementation date. The pages and videos linked below provide information to help get you started.


Past Training Webinars

The Council and GARFO have both hosted training webinars with step-by-step demonstrations of electronic reporting applications. Recordings from those webinars are available at the links below.

eVTR Tutorials

eTrips/Mobile 2 Tutorials:

NOAA Fish Online Tutorials