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

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RELEASE: AS APPROPRIATE
CONTACT: WAYNE E. SWINGLE

COUNCIL TO SET TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH FOR KING MACKEREL, AS WELL AS REVIEW STOCK ASSESSMENT REPORTS AND POTENTIAL MANAGEMENT MEASURES FOR DOLPHIN, AND STOCK STATUS OF RED DRUM

Tampa, Florida - April 20, 2000 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold its May 15-19, 2000 meeting at the Radisson Hotel New Orleans, 1500 Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. At this meeting, the Council will hear public testimony on the Gulf group king mackerel total allowable catch (TAC) and other framework management measures beginning at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17. Persons who will testify must turn in a registration card before the start of the testimony period.

The Administrative Policy Committee will meet on Monday beginning at 8:00 a.m. to discuss an internal policy issue related to conflict of interest. The Habitat Protection Committee will meet at 9:00 a.m. to hear a research proposal by the Gulf Aquaculture Consortium and a report on proposed gas pipeline routes across the Gulf of Mexico. The Stone Crab Management Committee will meet at 10:30 a.m. to review and approve for public hearings the Draft Amendment 7/Regulatory Amendment and make recommendations for the full Council to review on Thursday morning. At 1:00 p.m., the Mackerel Management Committee will meet to hear the Mackerel Stock Assessment Panel (SAP) report, the Socioeconomic Panel (SEP) report, and recommendations of the Mackerel Advisory Panel (AP) and the Standing and Special Mackerel and Dolphin/Wahoo Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC) regarding the Gulf group king mackerel TAC and proposed management options under the joint dolphin/wahoo fishery management plan (FMP). The Committee will develop recommendations for the full Council to review on Thursday morning.

There will be a meeting of the Joint Reef Fish/Mackerel Management Committees on Tuesday beginning at 8:00 a.m. to review the revised Options Paper/Amendment for a Charter Vessel Permit Moratorium. The committees will make recommendations for full Council review on Thursday morning. The Red Drum Management Committee will meet at 10:30 a.m. to hear the Red Drum SAP report and AP and SSC recommendations regarding stock status. The Reef Fish Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. to review a draft license limitation options paper for the longline sector, hear a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) enforcement report on longline vessels, review the revised options paper for Amendment 18, discuss the legal ramifications of requiring imported fish to be consistent with federal size limits, and hear a report of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) organic fish designation. The Committee’s recommendations on these issues will be considered by the Council on Thursday afternoon.

There will be a meeting of the Joint Marine Reserves and Reef Fish Management Committees on Wednesday beginning at 8:00 a.m. to approve the Public Hearing Draft Amendment for potentially establishing the Tortugas 2000 marine reserves. The Shrimp Committee will meet at 8:30 a.m. to hear a report on the distribution of Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program (SEAMAP) real-time data on shrimp catches, discuss whether an interim rule should be implemented to require shrimp vessel and/or operator permits, and hear a report by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on the condition of the Texas shrimp stocks. The Deepwater Crab ManagementCommittee will meet at 10:00 a.m. to discuss a possible gear conflict between golden crab and royal red shrimp fishermen, a trap enforcement issue, and a report on the contamination of crab tissue by heavy metals. The Migratory Species Committee will meet at 11:30 a.m. to hear a report regarding the proposed bluefin tuna harvest rules for the angling category.

The Council will consider the committee reports and other reports of meetings and activities on Thursday and on Friday morning.

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 May 8, 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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