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: AS APPROPRIATE
CONTACT: WAYNE E. SWINGLE

COUNCIL TO TAKE FINAL ACTION ON AMENDMENTS TO STONE CRAB AND SHRIMP FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLANS (FMP), AND THE DOLPHIN/WAHOO FMP

Tampa, Florida - August 18, 2000 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold its November 13-16, 2000 meeting at the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel, 151 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi, Mississippi. At this meeting, the Council will hear public testimony on a proposed amendment to the Stone Crab Fishery Management Plan (FMP), a proposed amendment to the Shrimp FMP, and a proposed Dolphin/Wahoo FMP beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 15. The Stone Crab Amendment proposes to create a federal trap certificate program for the commercial stone crab fishery in federal waters off Florida. This program will be similar to the trap certificate program adopted by the state of Florida. The Shrimp Amendment contains alternatives for requiring shrimp vessel permits, shrimp vessel registration, operator permits, and prohibiting trap gear in the royal red shrimp fishery of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The Dolphin/Wahoo FMP has been prepared by the South Atlantic, Gulf, and Caribbean fishery management councils. The first 10 actions, with options, of the Dolphin/Wahoo FMP contain measures that are applicable to the dolphin and wahoo stocks in the jurisdictions of all 3 councils. These include measures to: define the management units; address dealer, vessel, and operator permits; consider data reporting requirements; identify estimates of maximum sustainable yield, optimum yield, and overfishing/overfished criteria; and, framework options to enable seasonal adjustments to the management structure. Other actions, with options, are separately applicable to each council’s area of jurisdiction, and include actions that may be implemented through the framework procedures, e.g., minimum size limits, bag limits, trip limits, and allocations, among others. Persons who will testify must turn in a registration card before the start of the testimony period on Wednesday.

The Shrimp Management Committee will meet on Monday beginning at 1:00 p.m. to discuss the proposed Shrimp Amendment 11 and will develop recommendations for final action by the full Council on Wednesday afternoon. The Stone Crab Management Committee will meet at 3:30 p.m. to discussed the proposed Stone Crab Amendment 7 and will develop recommendations for final action by the full Council on Thursday afternoon. The Mackerel Management Committee will meet at 4:00 p.m. to discuss the proposed Dolphin/Wahoo FMP and develop recommendations for final action by the full Council on Wednesday afternoon. They will also hear scientific presentations on cobia.

The Reef Fish Management Committee will meet on Tuesday beginning at 8:30 a.m. to receive the Reef Fish Stock Assessment Panel’s (RFSAP) and the Socioeconomic Panel’s (SEP) recommendations on grouper complex rebuilding scenarios, and to receive a report from National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on red snapper restoration scenarios. This discussion will include management strategies, estimates of trawl bycatch, alternative assessment scenarios, and the management implications. There will be a joint meeting of the Reef Fish and Mackerel Management Committees beginning at 1:30 p.m. to consider further Council action on a Draft Amendment for Charter Vessel Permit Moratorium. The draft amendment proposes to put a moratorium on the issuance of additional permits for charter vessels to fish for reef fish or coastal migratory pelagics in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The amendment will make the charter vessel permits transferable. The Habitat Protection Committee will meet at 2:00 p.m. to hear a review of the Turkey Creek Development Project, a review of floating production storage and offloading systems, an update on an Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) lawsuit, receive recommendations from the Texas Habitat Protection Advisory Panel (AP) meeting, and discuss draft council wetland and submerged aquatic vegetation policies. The Administrative Policy Committee will meet at 4:00 p.m. to discuss amendments to the Magnuson-Stevens FisheryConservation and Management Act (MSFCMA) and amendments to the Council’s Administrative Handbook. They will develop recommendations for comments to be heard by full Council on Thursday afternoon.

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

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, 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 November 6, 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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