Great News on Snowy Grouper!

SOUTHEAST FISHERY BULLETIN
(South Atlantic)

FB15-055

nikhil.mehta
727-824-5305

July 21, 2015

NOAA Fisheries Announces Re-opening of Commercial and Recreational Sectors for Snowy Grouper in the South Atlantic with New Regulations

Small Entity Compliance Guide

The final rule for Regulatory Amendment 20 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region published on July 21, 2015 (80 FR 43033). Regulations will be effective on August 20, 2015.

The final rule for Regulatory Amendment 20 will:
• Increase the commercial and recreational annual catch limits for snowy grouper as a result of the latest population assessment. The annual catch limits will increase during 2015 to 2019, and remain at 2019 levels until a new population assessment takes place. The new values in pounds gutted weight and numbers of fish are:

Year Commercial
Annual catch limit Recreational
Annual catch limit Recreational
Numbers of Fish
Current 82,900 4,400 523
2015 115,451 23,647 4,152
2016 125,760 25,758 4,483
2017 135,380 27,729 4,819
2018 144,315 29,558 4,983
2019 153,935 31,529 5,315


• Increase the commercial trip limit for snowy grouper from 100 pounds gutted weight to 200 pounds gutted weight. The relatively small increase in the commercial trip limit could help maintain a longer fishing season when combined with the increase in the commercial annual catch limits.
• Modify the recreational fishing season for snowy grouper from 1 fish per vessel per day year-round to 1 fish per vessel per day from May through August with no recreational retention during the rest of the year. The recreational annual catch limit was exceeded in 2012, 2013, and 2014, resulting in closures of the recreational sector on May 31 in 2013, on June 7 in 2014, and on July 6 in 2015. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council determined that reducing the current year-round recreational fishing season to May through August would help minimize the risk of exceeding the recreational annual catch limit and provide recreational fishers throughout the South Atlantic the opportunity to fish for snowy grouper when weather conditions are best.
Re-openings:
Commercial Sector
The commercial sector for snowy grouper in the South Atlantic Region will reopen on August 20, 2015, with an annual catch limit of 115,451 pounds gutted weight. The commercial sector will close when this new annual catch limit is met or projected to me met. As of July 15, 2015, 86,149 pounds gutted weight have been landed.

Recreational Sector
The recreational sector for snowy grouper in the South Atlantic Region will reopen on August 20, 2015, with an annual catch limit of 23,647 pounds gutted weight or 4,152 fish. The recreational sector will close at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on August 31, 2015. The recreational sector will re-open on May 1, 2016.

This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.

More Information
For more information on the final rule for Regulatory Amendment 20, please follow this link to the Frequently Asked Questions:
http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/sg/2015/reg_am20/index.html.



Opens back p Aug 20th with a nearly 8 fold increase in quota!!!! Our rec landing quota will go from 4400 lbs to 23,600!!! Thats an estimate number of fish going from 523 to 4152 !!

A bit strange that they give us a 8 fold increase in landings but still limit us to 1 fish per boat and fishing only May thru August. So they give us the fish, but no time to catch them???

Replies

  • BubbaIIBubbaII Posts: 328 Deckhand
    So when changes to MRIP data collection procedures benefit you, its good data; when it hurts you, its bad data?

    I just looked at that amendment. The allowable rec harvest is normally caught May thru Aug. Allowing harvest outside those months would exceed the catch limits.
  • ACME Ventures FishingACME Ventures Fishing Posts: 851 Officer
    BubbaII wrote: »
    So when changes to MRIP data collection procedures benefit you, its good data; when it hurts you, its bad data?

    I just looked at that amendment. The allowable rec harvest is normally caught May thru Aug. Allowing harvest outside those months would exceed the catch limits.

    Didn't see anyone post any comment about "Good Data", nor for that matter about MRIP at all. Nothing
    really changed except showing what fishermen knew for some time that Snowies were becoming both
    more numerous and larger. If anything is shows that years of proclaimed "Overfishing" and cutting
    seasons short were erroneous. All this did is to shift season dates and raise the quota to what they
    proclaim recs are catching. If anything this again exposes the failings of the Federal Fishery Recreational
    Data System yet again. Its a purely reactive system based on the commercial model which has little
    in relation to recreational activities. How anyone can support or stand behind this system is hardtop
    imagine.

    Florida is working on the reef permit system like they have implemented on the west side of the state
    for our east coast. This program is not for counting fish as much as determining the actual number of
    recreational anglers participating in offshore reef fish (Snapper Grouper complex) fishing. That's
    something that MRIP has little better than a wild guess at and yet is the most important piece of data
    needed to start with. Again, the states working with anglers are the ones taking the lead in trying to fix
    the Federal blunders.
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 3,811 Captain
    They can increase the total allowable catch all they want but if they decrease the season and keep the daily limit at 1 fish per vessel than this "change" means absolutely nothing. Smoke and mirrors. More BS from the folks who can do it the best, NOAA and in particular, the SAFMC. They have no system in place for counting recreational caught Snowy grouper anyway, so printed numbers and "guess"timations mean absolutely nothing.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • flbluerunnerflbluerunner Posts: 700 Officer
    The powers that be don't get it. In the Keys summer is when the rest of FL comes to the Keys and fishes everyday no matter what.
    Those of us that live in the Keys fish 12 months a year and the fall is a wonderful time without too many tourist and snow birds.
    By restricting the snowy catch to summer you allow a lot more anglers not from the Keys to fish the quota.
    If you want to protect the species pick a different time of year to open the season.
    John :USA
    2006 38 Luhrs IPS600, A true 38, the only one made with IPS!
    2001 23 Parker

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • BubbaIIBubbaII Posts: 328 Deckhand
    Didn't see anyone post any comment about "Good Data", nor for that matter about MRIP at all.

    But the primary change to the assessment outputs was because of changes from MRFSS to MRIP. Catches were recorded as higher, so that meant the stock was in better shape, so you get more fish. And you still complain.

    If MRIP still sucks, do you want to go back to MRFSS and get 500 fish?
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 8,866 Admiral
    The powers that be don't get it. In the Keys summer is when the rest of FL comes to the Keys and fishes everyday no matter what.
    Those of us that live in the Keys fish 12 months a year and the fall is a wonderful time without too many tourist and snow birds.
    By restricting the snowy catch to summer you allow a lot more anglers not from the Keys to fish the quota.
    If you want to protect the species pick a different time of year to open the season.
    as is our right, they ain't just your fish bucko.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • flbluerunnerflbluerunner Posts: 700 Officer
    anumber1,
    You miss my point, you have the right to fish anywhere. If quota is the worry don't open the season when there are more fisherman in the area.
    You live in an area with great grouper fishing and relative easy access to the middle grounds.
    Bottom line there are still plenty of fish for all, the government just has no way to count, yet sets quotas on misinformation.
    This year I have not kept a Snowy under 30lbs, and there seem to be plenty. Same with tiles yet both were closed.
    John :USA
    2006 38 Luhrs IPS600, A true 38, the only one made with IPS!
    2001 23 Parker

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • bay20bay20 Posts: 1,489 Officer
    ANUMBER1 wrote: »
    as is our right, they ain't just your fish bucko.
    neither are the scallops yours
  • ACME Ventures FishingACME Ventures Fishing Posts: 851 Officer
    BubbaII wrote: »
    But the primary change to the assessment outputs was because of changes from MRFSS to MRIP. Catches were recorded as higher, so that meant the stock was in better shape, so you get more fish. And you still complain.

    If MRIP still sucks, do you want to go back to MRFSS and get 500 fish?

    Its a "Shell Game" at best. It still does not know how many participants are actually involved
    nor as such how many fish are actually caught. The sampling rate through random coastal calls
    and intercepts is still so small that the odds of connecting with someone that actually harvested
    a Snowy is probably around lottery and lightening strike stats. They just took what they Guestimated
    the harvest numbers to be.....proclaimed the stocks as growing, which is observable....and "slid the
    bar." Nothing has been fixed. FWC is actually taking a step to see how many people ACTUALLY target
    offshore reef stocks on Florida's west side and now they are working on a system for the East coast.
    MRIP has now real clue about that. Its great to see the state stepping up to do what the feds are
    unwilling to even try.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 8,866 Admiral
    bay20 wrote: »
    neither are the scallops yours
    of course they are.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • flbluerunnerflbluerunner Posts: 700 Officer
    Darn, after all of the great scallop reports I have been getting from up your way I planned a trip to partake.
    Better cancel since the scallops are yours, I also tell my brother in law to stop catching them, he lives up your way.
    John :USA
    2006 38 Luhrs IPS600, A true 38, the only one made with IPS!
    2001 23 Parker

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • SOUTHEAST FISHERY BULLETIN
    (South Atlantic)

    FB15-059

    Nikhil Mehta
    727-824-5305

    August 17, 2015


    Reminder: Snowy Grouper in the South Atlantic Re-opens
    to Recreational and Commercial Fishers on August 20

    The recreational sector for snowy grouper in the South Atlantic Region will re-open on August 20, 2015, with an annual catch limit of 23,647 pounds gutted weight or 4,152 fish. The recreational bag limit is one fish per vessel per day, while the recreational sector is open. The recreational sector will close at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on September 1, 2015. The recreational bag limit is zero during the closure. The recreational sector will re-open on May 1, 2016.

    The commercial sector for snowy grouper in the South Atlantic Region will re-open on August 20, 2015, with an annual catch limit of 115,451 pounds gutted weight. The commercial trip limit will be 200 pounds gutted weight. The commercial sector will close when this new annual catch limit is met or projected to be met. As of August 6, 2015, 83,569 pounds gutted weight have been landed.

    The season re-opening is a result of Regulatory Amendment 20 to the management plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic region which published in July (80 FR 43033).

    More Information
    For more information on Regulatory Amendment 20 and its rule-making, please follow this link:
    http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/sg/2015/reg_am20/index.html.
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