CFOA News

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  • 02 Oct 2017 8:20 AM | Anonymous

    Members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted today to approve a request to NOAA Fisheries that would allow fishermen access to red snapper in federal waters in the South Atlantic beginning in mid-to late October this year.  If approved by NOAA Fisheries, it will be the first time since 2014 that the red snapper fishery has been open in federal waters off the coasts of the Carolinas, Georgia, and the east coast of Florida. The Council is requesting that NOAA Fisheries allow an interim annual catch limit (recreational and commercial) of 42,510 fish for 2017 via an emergency rule. The annual catch limit would allow for a recreational mini-season likely beginning the end of October, with approximately 6 to 12 days of fishing over a period of 3-day weekends. The recreational bag limit would be 1 fish per person/day with no minimum size limit. Commercial harvest would be allowed with a 75-pound trip limit. The recreational sector is allocated 71.93% of the total catch limit. If the Council’s request is approved, the number of days and specific dates of the recreational mini-season will be determined by NOAA Fisheries. A decision is expected in the coming weeks and will be announced by NOAA Fisheries.

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  • 08 Aug 2017 7:41 AM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    Volusia County recently acquired two large steel vessels that will be reefed in the coming months.

    The 150' M/V Lady Philomena, photos attached and video link below.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8VcA5occXxuUi1IVEx5YmZ6QW8/view?usp=drive_web

    And the 90' Tug Everglades, photos attached and video link below.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxtjpZGFz1FwODRsd01XdTdjQzg/view

    The M/V Lady Philomena was donated to the county for reefing by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service after having been seized with contraband in the Miami River. 

    The Tug Everglades was offered to the county for reefing by the shipyard where the M/V Lady Philomena was moored. 

    Both vessels are currently being cleaned for ocean disposal and will be sunk together at artificial reef Site 12-SW adjacent to an existing large concrete culvert and structure reef.

    This reef deployment will create a dynamic fishing and diving site that will provide habitat for a wide range of fish and invertebrate species.

    Also, mooring balls will be placed on the Flagler and Sunglow nearshore artificial reef areas around the same time as the ship deployment. 

    I will keep you posted as these projects move forward.

    Thank you for your support of the Volusia County Marine Wildlife and Artificial Fishing Reef Program and have a great weekend.

    Joe Nolin

    Project Manager

    Volusia County Coastal Division



  • 08 Jun 2017 3:23 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    Do you fish for reef fish like snapper or grouper? The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is seeking volunteer anglers and charter/headboat captains to take part in a descending-device citizen science study. Descending devices are tools used to recompress the swim bladder and increase a fish’s chance of survival when they cannot be kept and are experiencing barotrauma (swim bladder expansion when a fish is brought up from depths greater than 50 feet). Signs of barotrauma include the stomach coming out of the mouth, bulging eyes, bloated belly and distended intestines. 

    As a citizen science partner, you will test a descending device and help identify the benefits and drawbacks of using this tool when fishing in deeper waters. The information from all participants will be pooled to identify why some anglers might not use these tools. Your valuable feedback will be used to inform and improve efforts to increase the survival of caught and released reef fish. 

    To participate, prospective participants must first answer general screening questions. Randomly-selected participants will then watch a tutorial on descending devices, complete an initial evaluation, and test a descending device during the trial period from July 1, through Sept. 30, 2017. When the trial period ends, participants must complete a detailed post-evaluation about their experience by Oct. 15. Preliminary results of the evaluation will be available in late 2017.

    To apply for an opportunity to participate in this study, visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/XK55MJV.  To learn more about barotrauma, visit our YouTube channel at MyFWC.com/SaltwaterFishing.  For additional information, call 850-487-0554 or email Marine@MyFWC.com.


  • 14 Mar 2017 11:33 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    March 14, 2017 – Alexandria, Va. – Due to an effort by Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will provide a competitive grant toward innovative Gulf of Mexico reef fish survey assessments and technologies.  The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) today praised this new program, which it believes will result in a more accurate estimate of the Gulf red snapper and lead to improved fishing access. This $9.5 million grant program was authored by Senator Shelby and directed by the Congress in the 2016 Appropriations Act.

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  • 30 Jan 2017 8:34 AM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    Letter from Dr. Walters, (UCF):

    Thank you everyone for a great shoreline stabilization day on Saturday!

    We had 62 people present, including 8 boats, to stabilize severely eroded shoreline at Canaveral National Seashore’s Oyster Bay site that is culturally and historically important to all of us.

    In addition to being a prehistoric shell midden of unique importance, it was also the location of a 16th century shipwreck of French explorers.

    We completed 200 meters of stabilization on Saturday – a new record for us for a site only accessible by boat!

    Funding for this effort came from the National Park Service, CCA, the Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, with in-kind support from the Marine Discovery Center, the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, and, of course, everyone with boats. Thank you all! Science-based stabilization is essential to protecting our lagoon into the future!

    Finally – we thank CCA and Frank Gidus for providing lunch for everyone and Greg Harrison, also CCA, for the amazing brownies!

    We have ongoing Oyster Bay stabilization work days planned for: February 25, March 25, and April 22. Please join us if you can – we especially hope to make April 22 our next BIG volunteer event day (it is also Earth Day)!

    Best wishes,

    Linda Walters


  • 17 Jan 2017 3:10 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    NEWS RELEASE  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 17, 2017 (PDF - click here) Download AP application CONTACT:  Kim Iverson/Public Information Officer/843-571-4366/kim.iverson@safmc.net [hr] Council Seeks Applicants for Federal Fishery Advisory Panels The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is currently soliciting applicants for open advisory panel seats. Working at the grass roots level, advisory panel members provide information…

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  • 17 Nov 2016 3:05 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    At its November meeting in St. Petersburg, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) set new barracuda size limits.

    These changes will apply in state and federal waters off Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties only and include:

    • Creating a recreational and commercial slot limit of 15 to 36 inches fork length.
    • Allowing the harvest of one fish larger than 36 inches per person or vessel per day, whichever is less.

    “I’m grateful to south Florida stakeholders for bringing this item forward and to staff’s efforts in gathering public input on this important Florida species so that these reasonable management actions could be taken today,” said Commissioner Robert Spottswood....

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  • 27 Oct 2016 3:02 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    et again, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has issued the 2015 Fisheries of the United States and under reports the value of good fisheries management to the United States economy. While groups such as Coastal Conservation Association, American Sportfishing Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership have advocated for the inclusion of the economic footprint of the recreational fishery alongside the economic footprint of the commercial industry, NMFS has only responded to this request by ignoring it....

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  • 08 Sep 2016 9:59 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved several mutton snapper management changes at the September meeting in St. Augustine.

     

    Changes will go into effect Jan. 1, 2017, and include:

    • Increasing the recreational, commercial, importation and sale minimum size limits to 18 inches.
    • Reducing the recreational bag limit to five fish per person within the 10-fish snapper aggregate bag limit.
    • Replacing the May through June commercial trip limit in all state waters with a five-fish per person, per day limit from April through June in Atlantic state waters.
    • Establishing a 500-pound commercial trip limit for the remainder of the year (July through March) in Atlantic state waters.

    Public input from several workshops in February and August 2016 was considered by the FWC when making these changes. The Commission discussed but did not pursue special management actions for Western Dry Rocks, a well-known and popular mutton snapper spawning area southwest of Key West.

     

    Though mutton snapper is not overfished or undergoing overfishing, the 2015 stock assessment indicated that the population is smaller than previously estimated. These regulation changes are intended to prevent exceeding the updated federal quota, or number of fish that can be harvested, and to also avoid potential early season closures.

     

    To learn more, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Snappers.”


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