South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
South Atlantic Update Newsletter
A Quarterly Publication of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
Summer 2020
On Point - The Council Chair's Perspective
Should the 2 for 1 requirement for commercial Snapper Grouper fishery be removed? Closed area boundaries reconsidered? Council Chair Jessica McCawley encourages readers to provide input on the Executive Order on Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness, recently signed by the President. Read More
New Requirements in Place for Fishermen Targeting Snapper Grouper Species - What you need to know about descending devices, hook specifications and other best practices
New regulations requiring descending devices and modifying hook requirements went into place on July 15, 2020. Get the details and learn more about the importance of best fishing practices.
Bullet Mackerel and Frigate Mackerel Scheduled to Join Dolphin Wahoo FMP
Bullet and Frigate Mackerel may not get the spotlight when you think about offshore fisheries, but recent studies, including samples collected at billfish tournaments along the Atlantic coast, show the importance of these fish in the diets of Wahoo and Dolphin. Learn More about measures the Council is taking to include these species in a fishery management plan.
Council Requests Emergency Actions to Assist with COVID-19 Impacts
During its June 2020 meeting, Council members reviewed input received from its advisory panel members and constituents on the impacts of the pandemic on fisheries across the region. The Council has requested emergency actions for King Mackerel and Vermilion Snapper to help mitigate these impacts.
Recreational South Atlantic Red Snapper Season 2020 - A Snapshot
We take a quick look at this year's four-day recreational Red Snapper season, including reports from fishermen, data collection efforts, best practices and new regulations, and what's next for the fishery.
Council Members Announced by the Secretary of Commerce
Chester Brewer of West Palm Beach, FL has been reappointed to serve another 3-year term as an at-large member of the Council. Kerry Marhefka, from Charleston, SC joins the Council as its newest member.
From the Executive Director's Desk
John Carmichael takes a closer look at how a fisherman's behavior can make a big difference when it comes to saving fish and the Council's recent outreach efforts to increase awareness of these best fishing practices, and new regulations designed to encourage their use.
September 14-17, 2020 Council Meeting Highlights
The Council's next quarterly meeting will be held via webinar September 14-17, 2020. Agenda items include an update on emergency action requests for King Mackerel and Vermilion Snapper, actions for Bullet and Frigate Mackerel, and continued work on proposed actions for Dolphin and Wahoo, Public comment will be taken during the meeting and an online public comment form is available.
FISHstory Launches to a Great Response
The Council's latest Citizen Science project, FISHstory, officially launched in May and now has over 1,100 volunteers and counting! Participants are asked to help identify species of fish and other details from historical photos dating back to the 1940s. Learn More and see how you can help!

  • Wednesday, August 26, 2020 from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.- Seminar on recent research into dolphin movements, migration patterns, and population dynamics in the North Atlantic, by Dr. Wessley Merten, Director of the Dolphinfish Research Program. The seminar is intended to inform interested Council members, Scientific and Statistical Committee members, and Dolphin Wahoo Advisory Panel members ahead of a summary presentation on the research topic that will take place at the September Council meeting. While the target audience is the Council, SSC and AP, the seminar is open to anyone interested in attending. Webinar registration link: 

  • NOAA Fisheries released two updates on U.S fisheries and the fishing industry – the 2019 Status of U.S. Fisheries Report and the 2017 Fisheries Economics of the U.S. Report. Read the agency’s web story and access both reports here. Information about stock status, management, assessment, and resource trends can be searched in the new Stock SMART web tool. NOAA also unveiled its 10-year roadmap for tackling ocean and Great Lakes acidification.

  • Kitty Hawk Offshore Project Update - A new meteorological buoy was deployed just above the Triple Zeros (~41033) in 16 fathoms east of Kitty Hawk on June 7, 2020 to collect wind and environmental data. Real-time sea state and wind data are now available to the fishing fleet. All of the fisheries information for the Kitty Hawk Offshore wind project, including the latest fisheries notices, notices to mariners, Fisheries FAQs, and the buoy data dashboard are available online at

  • NOAA Fisheries: Looking Back On 30 Years of Teachers at Sea - Since 1990, more than 850 teachers have sailed aboard NOAA research ships. They serve as valued crew members, conducting hands-on research and learning more about the science that informs conservation and management efforts. Teachers from around the country embark on a two to three-week expedition at sea. They gain invaluable on-the-job experience and communicate their journey through a series of blogs and lesson plans. Learn more