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

NOAA logoNEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: AS APPROPRIATE
CONTACT: WAYNE E. SWINGLE

COUNCIL TO TAKE FINAL ACTION ON DRAFT AMENDMENT FOR CHARTER VESSEL/HEAD BOAT PERMIT MORATORIUM

Tampa, Florida - December 23, 1999 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold its January 18-21, 2000 meeting at the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort, 1500 Miracle Strip Parkway, SE, Fort Walton Beach, Florida. At this meeting, the Council will hear public testimony on the cooperative Texas shrimp closure and a Draft Amendment for a Charter Vessel/Headboat Permit Moratorium. The Council is considering implementation of a temporary moratorium on the issuance of charter vessel/headboat permits to fish the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for reef fish and coastal migratory pelagics (mackerel). A moratorium, if adopted, would provide a basis for the development of a more comprehensive effort limitation program for this segment of the recreational fishery that could provide better long-term control of fishing effort. Testimony before the Council will begin at 8:15 a.m. on Thursday, January 20, 2000. Persons who will testify must turn in a registration card before the start of the testimony period.

The Shrimp Management Committee will meet on Tuesday beginning at 9:00 a.m. to hear a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) presentation and make recommendations regarding the Texas shrimp closure. They will also consider an Options Paper for Shrimp Amendment 10 which addresses reduction of trawl bycatch in the eastern Gulf. At 1:00 p.m., the Reef Fish Management Committee will meet to review red snapper issues and develop recommendations. The Migratory Species Management Committee will met at 3:00 p.m. to consider a NMFS proposal for an area closed to pelagic longline fishing. The Data Collection Committee will meet at 4:30 p.m. to hear a presentation by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission (GSMFC) on the Charter Vessel Pilot Study and develop recommendations.

A joint meeting of the Reef Fish and Mackerel Management Committees will meet on Wednesday beginning at 8:00 a.m. to review public hearing summaries and consider recommendations of the Advisory Panel (AP), Socioeconomic Panel (SEP), and Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) regarding the Draft Amendment for a Charter Vessel/Headboat Permit Moratorium. The committees will then develop recommendations for final action by the Council. The full Council will take final action on those recommendations on Thursday afternoon, January 20 and the recommendations of all other committees on Friday morning. At 1:30 p.m., the Habitat Protection Committee will meet to hear a NMFS presentation on the Fenholloway River pollution discharge and develop recommendations. The Mackerel Management Committee will meet at 2:30 p.m. to review a draft of the Dolphin/Wahoo FMP that has been prepared by the South Atlantic, Gulf, and Caribbean fishery management councils and consider the recommendations of the AP, and SSC.

Although non-emergency issues not contained in the agenda may come before the Council for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA), those issues may not be the subject of formal Council action during this meeting. Council action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305 (c) of the MSFCMA, provided the public has been notified of the Council’s intent to take final action to address the emergency. A copy of the Committee schedule and agenda can be obtained by calling (813) 228-2815.

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 January 10, 2000.

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.

This news release, and other Council news releases, can be viewed at the Council’s web site at http://www.gulfcouncil.org. In addition, Council press releases may be received via e-mail by sending a blank e-mail message to pressreleases@gulfcouncil.org with SUBSCRIBE as the subject.

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