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

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RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY
CONTACT: RICHARD L. LEARD

LAW ENFORCEMENT ADVISORY PANEL TO DISCUSS VESSEL MONITORING, BYCATCH REDUCTION, OPERATOR PERMITS, AND A PERMIT MORATORIUM FOR CHARTER VESSELS

Tampa, Florida - September 24, 1999 - The Law Enforcement Advisory Panel (AP) of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will meet on Thursday, October 21, 1999 in Biloxi, Mississippi to review a discussion paper for vessel monitoring systems (VMS) and possible applications to fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. The Law Enforcement AP will also be provided with a presentation of potential VMS operations by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The Law Enforcement AP will also review an Options Paper for Additional Bycatch Reduction Requirements in the Eastern Gulf and an Options Paper to Implement a Moratorium on the Issuance of Additional Charter Boat Permits. Other topics of interest are a discussion of requiring operators of shrimp and reef fish vessels in the eastern Gulf to have a federally issued permit, as well as status reports on the implementation of various amendments and regulatory amendments to fishery management plans previously approved by the Council.

The Law Enforcement AP will meet beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 21, 1999 at Casino Magic - Biloxi, 195 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi, Mississippi, 39530 and conclude at approximately 5:00 p.m.

The Law Enforcement AP consists of key enforcement agents for state and federal fishery agencies in the Gulf area. 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 Council action during this meeting. 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 October 14, 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.

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