SAFMC De­lays Cobia Man­age­ment Changes

Saltwater Sportsman - - Tod / Casts + Blasts -

The South At­lantic Fish­ery Man­age­ment Coun­cil de­cided to de­lay ap­proval of an amend­ment to re­move At­lantic cobia from the cur­rent fed­eral man­age­ment plan.

The amend­ment is de­signed to re­duce com­pli­cated reg­u­la­tions and im­prove flex­i­bil­ity in the man­age­ment of At­lantic cobia from Ge­or­gia to New York. If ap­proved by the Sec­re­tary of Com­merce, the move would al­low for the fish­ery to be man­aged solely by the At­lantic States Ma­rine Fish­eries Com­mis­sion.

The cur­rent man­age­ment bound­ary be­tween Florida and Ge­or­gia was es­tab­lished fol­low­ing a 2013 stock assess­ment. The pub­lic has ex­pressed con­cerns about the bound­ary change since that time, and af­ter re­view­ing pub­lic com­ments and con­sid­er­ing var­i­ous man­age­ment al­ter­na­tives and tim­ing, the coun­cil de­cided to wait un­til its June 11-15 meet­ing, when pre­lim­i­nary re­sults from a Cobia Stock ID work­shop and Ad­vi­sory Panel rec­om­men­da­tions would be avail­able for con­sid­er­a­tion, be­fore mov­ing for­ward.

At the most re­cent meet­ing, coun­cil mem­bers also heard con­cerns from le­gal coun­sel that the doc­u­ment should fur­ther spec­ify what will hap­pen to reg­u­la­tions in fed­eral wa­ters be­fore said amend­ment’s ap­proval.

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