This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA87FC0003.

NOAA logoNEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY
CONTACT: WAYNE E. SWINGLE

PANEL TO REVIEW INFORMATION ON EFFECTIVENESS OF BYCATCH REDUCTION DEVICES IN SHRIMP TRAWLS

Tampa, Florida - August 10, 1998 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene an Ad Hoc Technical Review Panel on September 2, 1998 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 333 Poydras Street, New Orleans. The panel, consisting of Council members with technical backgrounds, will review analyses on the effectiveness of shrimp trawl bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) in reducing the number of juvenile red snapper taken as bycatch. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will complete their analyses based on an ongoing observer program that is collecting data on the effectiveness of the BRDs being used in trawls on commercial shrimp vessels in the Gulf.

NMFS will use the data collected to determine if all or a portion of an additional 3.12 million pounds (MP) of red snapper will be allocated to recreational and commercial fishermen in September. That action is based on an interim rule implemented by NMFS whereby the 3.12 MP allocation was withheld contingent upon the BRDs reducing the bycatch of juvenile red snapper by 60 percent. Ten percent of the allocation will be released for each percent of bycatch reduction over 50 percent, as determined by the observer program.

A copy of the agenda can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815. Although other issues not on the agenda may come before the Committee for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, those issues may not be the subject of formal Committee action during this meeting. Committee action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agenda listed as available by this notice.

The meeting is open to the public and is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office by August 26, 1998.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is 1 of 8 regional fishery management councils that were established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council prepares fishery management plans that are designed to manage fishery resources in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

X X X