The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold a series of public hearing/scoping meetings and webinars between August 1 and August 17 to collect public input on proposed management measures for several species managed by the Council. See below for an overview.
For details on meeting locations, webinar registration, amendment documents/presentations, and instructions on how to submit written comments, visit the Council’s website –
Dolphin and Yellowtail Snapper Allocation Measures
The amendment is being presented during
a scoping meeting via webinar on August 4, 2016 at 6pm. Potential actions include ways to shift allocation – either temporarily or permanently – from one sector to another for dolphin and yellowtail snapper; and separating the commercial dolphin sector Annual Catch Limit (ACL) into two gear-based sectors – a hook and line sector and a longline sector.
I attended the ASMFC meeting Wed, July 6, 2016 which was all about potential additional cuts for 2016 for Black Sea Bass. According to final MRIP numbers, our northern states continue to catch the majority of our quota while the southern states and Virginia catch very little of the quota for BSB. This board considered additional cuts for the 2016 season but no motion was made for cuts so ASMFC is not moving forward with cuts for 2016 at this time. NOAA / NMFS could still implement cuts if they deem it necessary to prevent overfishing for 2016 . Here is the link to the meeting materials.
Comments are due by 5:00PM, July 11, 2016 on Draft Addendum I to Amendment 2 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Menhaden proposes modifying the FMP’s bycatch allowance provision.
The current regulations pertaining to fixed multispecies stationary gear (i.e. pound net) fishing allows one licensed individual to harvest 6000 lbs. of menhaden bycatch per vessel per day. The public is asked to comment on changing this regulation to allow 2 licensed individuals fishing from a single boat the ability to harvest 12,000 lbs. per day when fishing multispecies stationary gear. This change is requested primarily for the Chesapeake Bay pound net fishery. It will allow licensed individuals to pool their resources for fuel and crew and work from a single boat, vs. multiple boats. This change will not increase the total landings of menhaden. This method of fishing represents less than 2% of the total coast wide landings for menhaden.
Our cobia regulations for 2016 have been established for the 2016 fishing year effective June 1, 2016. VSSA has been working on cobia since October and the fight is far from over. VSSA has attended many meetings, conducted polls, reached out to members, listened to angler concerns, but at the end of the day it came down to a vote by our VMRC Associate Commissioners. Dr. Ken Neill, one of the Associate Commissioners, was very vocal about keeping our season open and although nobody is completely happy with the results, it is better than a closure. Thanks Dr. Neill for your efforts to influence the other board members.
The Council will hold a listening session on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 7 p.m. regarding the 2017 recreational specifications for blueline tilefish off the Mid-Atlantic (from Virginia north). The meeting will be held via webinar with a telephone-only audio connection option: http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/bltls/.
The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries Commission voted Thursday to keep its state-waters cobia fishery open past a federally-ordered June 20 closing, putting the state in non-compliance with the South Atlantic Marine Fisheries Council.
But the commission made several drastic changes to size and bag limits, and severely cut the number of days that recreational anglers could keep the coveted species.
Attention Residents of Virginia’s Second Congressional District:You are invited to attend the 3rd Annual State of the Chesapeake Bay DiscussionAddressing important Bay restoration issuesHosted by Congressman Scott RigellTuesday, May 316 pm – 8 pm Cavalier Golf and Yacht Club 1052 Cardinal Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
The draft cobia letter was distributed to VSSA members today. Comments should arrive NLT Wed, May 18 and the letter will be submitted by Thur, May 19. Please contact us if you did not receive it and wish to review before being submitted.
Anglers are encouraged to submit their own letters or emails to VMRC. Emails should be sent to rob.o’firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to VMRC, 2600 Washington Avenue, Suite 107, Newport News, VA 23607-0756. Letters and emails should arrive NLT Friday, May 20. The VMRC meeting where the cobia regulations will be set for 2016 is scheduled for May 24 and is item number 14 on the agenda.