Public hearings scheduled for late January; online comment form and public hearing documents now available
Offshore fishermen and others interested in the management of dolphin (mahi mahi) and wahoo along the Atlantic coast are encouraged to provide comments on regulatory measures proposed for both fisheries. Members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council are currently soliciting public comment on Amendment 10 to the Dolphin & Wahoo Fishery Management Plan.
The management plan addresses measures for dolphin and wahoo in federal waters (ranging from than 3 to 200 nautical miles) along the east coast of the United States.
Dolphin & Wahoo Amendment 10 includes actions to:
· Update the Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) and revise Annual Catch Limits (ACL) for dolphin and wahoo largely based on updated recreational landings estimates.
· Modify allocations between the recreational and commercial sectors for both species based on the new ABC and ACL values.
· Revise recreational Accountability Measures to allow for temporary reductions in bag limits, vessel limits, and the season should the sector ACL be projected to be met for dolphin, and temporarily reduce the bag limit, reduce the length of the season, or implement a vessel limit for wahoo to prevent the sector ACL from being exceeded (post season).
· Remove the Operator Card requirement for for-hire and commercial federal dolphin and wahoo permit holders.
· Allow possession of limited quantities of dolphin or wahoo onboard commercial vessels with trap, pot, or buoy gear onboard.
· Reduce the recreational vessel limit for dolphin
· Current limit = 60 fish per vessel. Alternatives range from 30 to 54 fish per vessel with additional alternatives to have the reductions apply only off the east coast of Florida, off the coasts of NC, SC and GA, or along the entire Atlantic coast.
· Reduce the bag limit for wahoo to 1 fish per person and implement vessel limits ranging from 2 to 8 fish per vessel.
· Allow filleting of dolphin at sea north of the NC/VA line onboard for-hire vessels. This action comes at the request of the Mid-Atlantic Council and for-hire captains in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions.
Learn More and Submit Comments
A public hearing summary document, presentation and the draft amendment with details of the proposed actions and management alternatives are all now available from the Council’s website at: https://safmc.net/safmc-meetings/public-hearings-scoping-meetings/.
Plan now to attend a public hearing via webinar to learn more and provide formal comment during the public hearings. An online public comment form is also available from the website. Provide written comments now and also see what others are saying.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will review public comments as it continues to develop Dolphin & Wahoo Amendment 10 during its March 1-5, 2021.
Dolphin & Wahoo Amendment 10 Public Hearings via Webinar Hearings begin at 6:00 PM
Register now by clicking the date(s) below:
Contact: Kim Iverson, Public Information Officer, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; email@example.com.