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



Tampa, Florida -December 11, 2000 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a meeting of the Reef Fish Advisory Panel (AP) on January 5, 2001, at the Chateau LeMoyne, 301 Dauphine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. The AP will meet beginning at 9:00 a.m. to review a report of the Reef Fish Stock Assessment Panel and to recommend total allowable catches (TACs) for red grouper and greater amberjack. The AP will also make recommendations on a proposed red snapper recovery plan that calls for converting from a constant catch to a constant fishing mortality rate strategy beginning in 2004, and thereafter a review and adjustment of TAC at five-year intervals. In addition, the AP will review an early draft of options being considered for including in a new Reef Fish plan amendment. These options deal with a longline limited entry system, moving the longline boundary line, phasing out the use of longlines, the use of cut-up reef fish for bait, an electronic vessel monitoring system (VMS) for longline and fish trap vessels, the use of powerheads when spearfishing, requiring operator permits for commercial and charter/headboat operators, a commercial grouper fishery endorsement, grouper closed seasons, prohibiting the import of undersized red snapper, eliminating dormant reef fish permits, and changes to the species listed in the reef fish management unit and deep-water grouper aggregation. Additional options may be added or deleted as this options paper is developed into Reef Fish Amendment 18.

Copies of the agenda can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815 (or toll-free 888-833-1844). Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before the Reef Fish AP 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 AP 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.

This 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 December 27, 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, In addition, Council press releases may be received via e-mail by sending a blank e-mail message to with SUBSCRIBE as the subject.