Once again at their December 2018 meeting, the SAFMC has postponed any remedial action to alleviate negative, socio-economic impacts with regard to the commercial harvest of yellowtail snapper, over 95% of which takes place in the Florida Keys. The Council has deferred action until the next SEDAR stock assessment is complete sometime in 2020. Six years have passed since we first asked the Council to provide some effort of relief and examine allocations between the recreational (1.5 MP) and commercial (1.6 MP) sectors with the recreational side fishing less than half of their allocation over the last 10 years. With the stock assessment only being completed in 2020, it will take another year or longer to implement an amendment to provide any changes and that is provided the Council takes any positive steps to correct this imbalance. The Council’s lack of action is most disturbing and fails to comply with provisions in the Magnuson-Stevens Act, Article 4, regarding Allocation. Capt. Bill Kelly, Executive Director
Council Posting: Yellowtail Snapper – Regulatory Amendment 32
Council members voted to postpone consideration of Regulatory Amendment 32 that would revise accountability measures for yellowtail snapper with the intent to alleviate socio-economic impacts of in-season closures in the fishery. After considering recommendations from the Snapper Grouper Advisory Panel and public comment, the Council will delay further development of measures until a benchmark stock assessment for yellowtail snapper is completed in 2020.