This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA07FC0015.

NOAA logoNEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY
CONTACT: RICHARD L. LEARD

PUBLIC WORKSHOPS SCHEDULED TO CONSIDER THE NEED FOR ADDITIONAL BYCATCH REDUCTION REQUIREMENTS IN THE SHRIMP FISHERY OFF THE WEST COAST OF FLORIDA

Tampa, Florida - January 11, 2000 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold public workshops to receive comments on the need for additional bycatch reduction requirements for the shrimp fishery in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) south and east of 85°30' West Longitude. Amendment 9 to the shrimp fishery management plan (FMP), approved in May 1998, required the use of a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) certified bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) in shrimp trawls used in the EEZ from Cape San Blas, Florida (85°30' W. Longitude) to the Texas/Mexico border and provided for the certification of the Fisheye BRD in the 30 mesh position. The purpose of this action was to reduce the bycatch mortality of juvenile red snapper by 44% from the average mortality for the years 1984-89. This amendment exempted shrimp trawls fishing for royal red shrimp outside of 100 fathoms, as well as groundfish and butterfish trawls. It also excluded small try nets and no more than two ridged frame roller trawls that do not exceed 16 feet. Amendment 9 did not require BRDs south and east of 85°30' West Longitude because few juvenile red snapper were found in the bycatch in this area. Because of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act’s requirement to reduce bycatch to the extent practicable, the Council is considering the need for additional measures to reduce bycatch.

Public workshops will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the following locations:

 

Wednesday, February 2, 2000
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Harbormaster's Office
1407 Main Street
Palacios, Texas 77465
Monday, February 7, 2000
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Holiday Inn La Conch Hotel
430 Duval Street
Key West, Florida 33040
Wednesday, February 9, 2000
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
City Hall Auditorium
300 Municipal Drive
Madeira Beach, Florida 33708
Thursday, February 3, 2000
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Port Isabel Community Center
213 Yturria
Port Isabel, Texas 78578
Tuesday, February 8, 2000
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Edison Community College
Hendry Hall - K143 - Parking
Lot 8 - Lee County Campus
Fort Myers, Florida 33919
Thursday, February 10, 2000
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Apalachicola Reserve Visitors Center
261 7th Street
Apalachicola, Florida 32320

These meetings are open to the public and are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office by January 26, 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, 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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