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NOAA Fisheries Announces Gear and Harvest Limits at Artificial Reef Sites in the South Atlantic Region

April 02, 2021

FB21-023: South Atlantic Fishery Bulletin; For more information, contact: Rick DeVictor, 727-824-5305, rick.devictor@noaa.gov

KEY MESSAGE:

NOAA Fisheries announces the final rule for Regulatory Amendment 34 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region.  The final rule will create 34 special management zones around artificial reefs off North Carolina and South Carolina.

There will be additional gear and harvest restrictions within the new special management zones.  The purpose of the gear restrictions is to reduce adverse effects to federally managed species at these sites. 

 

WHEN RULE WILL TAKE EFFECT:

Regulations will be effective May 3, 2021.

 

SUMMARY OF CHANGES:

  • The final rule will create special management zones around select artificial reef sites off North Carolina (30) and off South Carolina (4).
  • The zones range in size from 0.041 to 1.01 square miles.
  • Harvest of snapper-grouper species will only be allowed with handline, rod and reel, and spear in these zones.  Therefore, this action will prohibit the use of bandit reel, powerhead, pot, and longline gear at these sites.
  • In the special management zones off North Carolina, harvest of snapper-grouper species by spear will be limited to the applicable recreational bag limit.
  • In the special management zones off South Carolina, harvest of snapper-grouper species with all gear types will be limited to the applicable recreational bag limit.

 

Maps and coordinates of the proposed special management zones found here: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/regulatory-amendment-34-special-management-zones-smz.

 

FORMAL FEDERAL REGISTER NAME/NUMBER: 86 FR 17318 published April 2, 2021.

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

 

Where can I find more information on Regulatory Amendment 34?

 

  • Contact NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office

By Mail: Rick DeVictor

NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office

Sustainable Fisheries Division

263 13th Avenue South

St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505

By FAX: (727) 824-5308

By Phone: (727) 824-5305

NOAA's Text Message Alert Program allows you to receive important fishery related alerts via text message (SMS).  Standard message & data rates may apply. You may opt-out at any time.

 

Text alerts you may receive include:

  • Immediate fishery openings and closures
  • Any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly

 

Sign up for one or more of the following groups:

  • Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
  • Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text SATLRECFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text SATLCOMMFISH to 888777
  • Caribbean Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text CARIBFISH to 888777

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Other contacts:

Media: Kim Amendola, 727-551-5707

            Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750 

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on April 02, 2021