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

LAW ENFORCEMENT ADVISORY PANEL TO REVIEW ENFORCEMENT DATA COLLECTION AND TRACKING MECHANISMS AND A 5-YEAR STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONS PLAN FOR THE GULF, AS WELL AS A NATIONAL CONSERVATION CRIME INFORMATION SYSTEM

Tampa, Florida - February 18, 2000 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene the Law Enforcement Advisory Panel (LEAP) to review the Draft Gulf of Mexico Law Enforcement Strategic and Operations Plan, 2000-2005 that has been develop jointly by the LEAP and the Law Enforcement Committee (LEC) of the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission. This document contains a set of goals and objectives that the LEAP/LEC would like to accomplish during this 5-year period. The LEAP will also review the law enforcement data collection, tracking and dissemination procedures by state and federal law enforcement agencies involved with marine fisheries enforcement in the Gulf. The LEAP will also hold a conference-call discussion with law enforcement personnel on the Atlantic coast in pursuit of establishing a National Conservation Crime Information System. Reports on the status of fishery management plans (FMPs), amendments, and other regulatory actions, as well as state and federal law enforcement activities will also be received.

The LEAP consists of principal law enforcement officers in each of the Gulf states as well as the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the U.S. Coast Guard, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) General Counsel. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 15, 2000 at the Perdido Beach Resort, 27200 Perdido Beach Boulevard, Orange Beach Alabama, beginning at 1:00 p.m. A copy of the agenda and related materials can be obtained by calling the Council office at 813-228-2815.

The meetings are open to the public and physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office by March 8, 2000.

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

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is 1 of 8 regional fishery management councils that were established by the Magnuson 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 Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

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