Spawning Special Management Zones and commercial black sea bass pots are the main issues on the docket at another series of South Atlantic Fishery Management Council public hearings that will be held this week in South Carolina and North Carolina, including meetings in Little River and Murrells Inlet.
The SAFMC’s Snapper Grouper Amendment 36 deals with Spawning Special Management Zones (SMZs), which are the latest hot-button issue being considered by the council.
Issues discussed will include specifying a process for identifying spawning and aggregation for snapper grouper species including speckled hind and warsaw grouper based on characteristics that make bottom areas important for spawning. Also addressed will be transit and anchoring provisions within newly designated Spawning SMZs and revising the boundary of the Charleston Deep Reef MPA.
Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 16 will address the prohibition on the use of commercial black sea bass pots and specifies potential new black sea bass pot gear modifications that reduce the required breaking strength for buoy lines and weak links, and changes to aid in gear identification in the event of a whale entanglement.
Amendment 36 (SMZs) public hearings are set for:
▪ Wednesday, 4-7 p.m., Murrells Inlet Community Center, Murrells Inlet, SC, 29576.
▪ Thursday, 4-7 p.m., N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Central District Office, 5285 Hwy. 70 West, Morehead City, NC., 28557.
Amendment 16 (commercial black sea bass pots) public hearings are set for:
▪ Tuesday, 4 p.m., Holiday Inn Express, 722 Hwy. 17, Little River, SC 29566
▪ Wednesday, 4 p.m., Comfort Suites, 130 Workshop Lane, Jacksonville, NC 28546.
Gregg Holshouser: 843-651-9028, email@example.com