Council Meetings

Members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meet four times each year, once in each of the four states in the southeast region. Meetings generally last five days and involve meetings of the Council's committees and a Council session involving all members. Advisory panels meetings, public hearings, and public comment sessions may also be scheduled during the week.

During each quarterly Council meeting, committee meetings are held for any fishery that has proposed amendments being developed by the Council. Committees are made up of specific Council members and detailed agendas and documents for each committee meeting are provided to the public prior to the meeting via the Council's website through a briefing book.

Amendments under development must go through the Council process before any final action on a proposed management measure is taken. The steps to the Council process include:

  1. Identification of Management Measure - The Council identifies a specific issue that needs to be addressed in a fishery and instructs staff to begin development of a draft document outlining the issue and the purpose and need to address the issue.

  2. Scoping Process - A scoping document is prepared by Council staff and the Council then gathers input from stakeholders in the region on solutions for addressing the specific fishery issue. This step in the process allows the Council to further understand the fishery issue and potential impacts in order to develop reasonable management actions and alternatives that address the issue.

  3. Public Hearing - Based on feedback from the scoping process, a draft amendment is developed outlining proposed actions and alternatives to address the fishery issue. The Council then holds public hearings to collect more feedback and suggestions on additional alternatives on the issue from stakeholders. Public hearings are held in each state throughout the region in January and August each year. Additionally, a public comment session is always held during the week of the Council meeting to address any amendments under development.

  4. Final Action - After all public input has been received, the Council takes final action through a vote at the quarterly Council meeting to choose their final recommendation for the appropriate management strategies. A final approval vote moves the amendment on to the Secretary of Commerce for final approval and implementation.

At this point in the process, the Council has completed their role in the development of the amendment and it is then sent to NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service for further review, public comment, and approval by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce before being implemented.

Meeting Schedule

Meeting weeks are consistently held in the following order and locations:

  • March – Meeting held the first week of March in Georgia;

  • June – Meeting held the second week of June in Florida;

  • September – Meeting held the third week of September  in South Carolina; and

  • December – Meeting held the first week of December in North Carolina.

The Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee meets in conjunction with the June and September meetings.  The Council's Advisory Panel Selection Committee typically meets in conjunction with the September and March meetings. Except for designated closed sessions, the public is invited to attend all meetings.

The 2014 Council Meeting Schedule and meeting page links are listed below.

2014 Council Meeting Links:

March 3-7, 2014
Hilton Savannah DeSoto
15 East Liberty Street
Savannah, GA 31401
912-232-9000/1-877-280-0751 phone

June 9-13, 2014
Sawgrass Marriot
1000 PGA Tour Boulevard
PonteVedra Beach, FL 32082

September 15-19, 2014
The Charleston Marriott Hotel
170 Lockwood Boulevard
Charleston, SC 29403
1-800-968-3569 toll-free
843-723-3000 phone
843-723-0276 fax

October 14-16, 2014
Special Visioning Council Meeting
Crowne Plaza Hotel
4381 Tanger Outlet Boulevard
N. Charleston, SC 29418


December 1-5, 2014
DoubleTree Hilton New Bern/Riverfront
100 Middle Street
New Bern, NC  28560
1-800-326-3745 toll-free
252-638-3585 phone


Download 2015 Council Meeting Schedule (pdf)

Archives (2006 - 2013 meeting information and materials, including briefing books)