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South Atlantic Golden Crab Historical Amendments and Rulemaking (1996-2016)


The golden crab fishery operates off the coast of Florida and is a trap fishery which harvests golden crabs only. The fishery is under a limited access program with 11 permits.
Fishing Type
Commercial, Recreational
Affected Species
Golden Crab
Action Status
Final Rule
List of amendments to the fishery management plan from 1996 to 2016
Point of Contact
Southeast Regional Office 727-824-5305


The list below contains information about amendments and rulemaking that were effective during 2016 and earlier. While our website is in transition, to view historical amendments that are not found on this page, please visit the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Golden Crab FMP page. For more recent amendments and rule-making, please visit NOAA Fisheries' Golden Crab FMP page.

Amendment 9: Generic Accountability Measures and Dolphin Allocation Amendment

Amendment 5: Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit

The amendment was included under the Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment and was approved by the Secretary of Commerce in January 2012 and the measures effective on April 16, 2012. The amendment meets the 2011 mandate deadline of the Magnuson-Stevens Act to establish Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures for species managed by the Council that are not undergoing overfishing. The amendment addresses a number of species in the snapper grouper management complex, as well as dolphin (mahi-mahi), wahoo, and golden crab. In addition to establishing ACLs for dolphin, the amendment prohibits the sale of bag limit dolphin by fishermen with a federal For-Hire (charter) Permit. ACLs for other species, including king and Spanish mackerel, cobia, and spiny lobster are being addressed in separate amendments.

Amendment 4: Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 1 (CE-BA1)

The amendment was included under the Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 1 (CE-BA 1). Actions in this amendment will protect specific areas of sensitive habitat, deemed Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (CHAPCs) that house an invaluable array of deepwater coral species living in waters ranging from 400 meters (1200 ft.) to 700 meters (2300 ft.) deep. The South Atlantic region is home to what may be the largest contiguous distribution of deepwater corals in the world, including the common Lophelia coral, largely responsible for reef mound construction in these cold water areas. The parameters defined within the amendment aim to shield these areas from impacts associated with bottom-tending fishing practices. For many years fishermen targeting golden crab and royal red shrimp have set their traps and hauled their nets in areas now known to provide suitable habitat for deepwater corals. These small traditional fisheries, however, operate in distinct areas where fishermen can be sure their gear will not become tangled and possibly damaged. Therefore, actions to create "Allowable Golden Crab Fishing Areas" and "Shrimp Fishery Access Areas" within two of the proposed CHAPCs are included to ensure the continued existence of these fisheries and the communities they support. The Council submitted CE-BA 1 for Secretarial review, approval, and implementation.

Amendment 3: Traps, Permits and Vessels

Extended the authorization to use wire cable for mainlines attached to golden crab traps to December, 31, 2002; modified escape panel sizes for traps; addressed permit renewal requirements including removal of the 5,000 pound harvest requirement for renewing biannual permits and addressed the minimum harvest requirement for permit holders in the Southern Zone; allowed up to a 20% increase in vessel size from the vessel size of the original permit; created a sub-zone within the Southern Zone with specified conditions; allowed two new vessels to be permitted to fish only in the Northern Zone using an earlier list of those wanting to enter the fishery; Specified Status Determination Criteria; and modified the FMP framework to allow modifications to the sub-zone.

  • Notice of Availability, 66 FR 31608
  • Proposed Rule, 66 FR 59221.
  • Final Rule, 67 FR 22359. Effective June 3, 2002, except for the amendments to Sec. 622.17(b)(1) and (2) that are effective May 3, 2002.

Amendment 2: Sustainable Fishery Act Definitions and Other Required Provisions

Amended the Fishery Management Plan as required to make definitions of MSY, OY, overfishing and overfished consistent with "National Standard Guidelines"; identified and defined fishing communities and addressed bycatch management measures.

Amendment 1: Essential Fish Habitat

Identified Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for Golden Crab.

Original Fishery Management Plan

Set up a management program for the golden crab fishery in the South Atlantic EEZ; Established a limited entry system and divided the fishery into three zones; Required escape gaps with degradable panels in crab traps; Prohibited sale of female crabs and limited retention of female crabs to 0.5% by number; Required that crabs be landed whole.

  • Notice of Availability, 61 FR 8564
  • Proposed Rule, 61 FR 16076.
  • Final Rule, 61 FR 43952. Effective September 26, 1996; except that the amendments to 15 CFR part 902, 50 CFR 622.1, 622.2, 622.4(d), and 622.7(b) and the additions 50 CFR 622.17 (b) through (f) and (h) are effective August 27, 1996; and the amendments to 50 CFR 622.4(a)(4), 622.5, 622.6, 622.7 (a) and (c), and 622.40(a)(3) and the additions 50 CFR 622.7(z), 622.17 (a), (g), (i), and (j), and 622.45(f) (2) through (4) are effective October 28, 1996.

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on 08/02/2023