In March 2016, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) initiated a process to consider changes to Amendment 10 of the U.S. Atlantic Coast Dolphin/Wahoo fishery management plan (FMP) in reaction to the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) being met and an ensuing harvest closure in 2015. Last April, the SAFMC’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) recommended a new acceptable biological catch (ABC) level for dolphin and wahoo after incorporating recreational landings data from new methods, a revised U.S. commercial landings data stream, and data from the highest U.S. landings between 1994 and 2007. The SAFMC’s goals are to incorporate the SSC’s new catch level recommendations and to address management changes needed in the fishery based on public input in Amendment 10. After a scoping process that
began in 2018, after a scoping process that began in 2018, the SAFMC has arrived at preferred alternatives for changes to Amendment 10 and the Dolphin/Wahoo FMP. While the SAFMC introduces some key conservation measures to help alleviate the growing pressures on dolphin, within the draft amendment, there is no discussion of expanding size limits along the U.S. Atlantic coast to ensure more dolphinfish reach maximum reproductive output before being harvested. Furthermore, there is no discussion of expanding conservation measures, including size, vessel, or bag limits, to the Gulf of Mexico, a location that feeds dolphin to the Florida Keys and U.S. Atlantic coast. NOW is the time to provide your comments to the SAFMC. Click here to read our letter to the SAFMC, which could not have been compiled without your participation in our tagging program since the onset of this study. We provide this letter to you for your reference to write your own letter or submit your own comments. Comments are due 2.5.2021. Voice your opinion now! For more information, join the SAFMC’s public webinars happening this week. Click here to register.
Embedded below is our letter for your reference.Public Comment Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 10
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