This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA97FC0010.



Tampa, Florida - August 27, 1999 -A panel of concerned representatives of Florida/Alabama recreational and commercial fishing groups, conservation organizations, academia, and state and federal resource agencies will gather at the Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore, 2225 Lois Avenue, Tampa, Florida to review and discuss fishery habitat issues. The meeting will convene at 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, September 28, 1999, and is expected to adjourn at 3:00 p.m.

The Florida/Alabama group is part of a three unit Habitat Protection Advisory Panel (AP) of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). The principal role of the advisory panels is to assist the Council in attempting to maintain optimum conditions within the habitat and ecosystems supporting the marine resources of the Gulf of Mexico. Advisory panels serve as a first alert system to call to the Council’s attention proposed projects being developed and other activities which may adversely impact the Gulf marine fisheries and their supporting ecosystems. The panels may also provide advice to the Council on its policies and procedures for addressing environmental affairs.

At this meeting, the AP will discuss revision of the Council’s Habitat Policy and Procedures to include Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) provisions, an update on EFH assessments in Council FMP amendments, an update on the status of the EFH lawsuit, impact of two new gas pipelines between Mobile, Alabama and central Florida, status of the new marine reserves off the Florida panhandle, a proposed navigation and berth improvement project at Port Manatee in Tampa Bay, and an update on Alabama’s expansion of their artificial reef zone.

A copy of the agenda can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815. Although other issues not on the agenda may come before the panel for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, those issues may not be the subject of formal panel action during this meeting. Panel 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 September 21, 1999.

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.