SAFMC Delays Cobia Management Changes
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.