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

ADDITIONAL PUBLIC HEARINGS SCHEDULED TO REVIEW DRAFT AMENDMENT 11 TO THE SHRIMP FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLAN

Tampa, Florida - December 11, 2000 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold additional public hearings to review Draft Amendment 11 to the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Public hearings were previously held from Port Isabel, Texas to Key West, Florida. This amendment contains alternatives for requiring shrimp vessel and boat permits, shrimp vessel and boat registration, operator permits, and prohibiting trap gear in the royal red shrimp fishery of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). A major difference between vessel permits and registrations as noted in previous public hearings was that permits could be sanctioned by law enforcement, while vessel registrations could not be. In a recent review of the draft amendment by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) General Counsel, it was determined that if a registration was required as a condition for participating in the shrimp fishery, then a vessel registration could be sanctioned similarly to a permit. Therefore, this perceived difference could have been misleading, and some persons may have supported registrations in the belief that they could not be sanctioned. To give these persons a chance to change or retract their comments, and for others to share their comments on a revised amendment, further public hearings have been scheduled. A copy of the revised draft amendment can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815.

The public hearings will be held at the following locations, dates, and times:

Wednesday, January 3, 2001
7:00 p.m.

Laguna Madre Learning Center
Port Isabel High School
Highway 100
Port Isabel, TX 78578
956-943-0052

Monday, January 8, 2001
6:00 p.m.

MS Department of Marine Resources
1141 Bayview Avenue
Biloxi, MS 39530
228-374-5000

Wednesday, January 10, 2001
7:00 p.m.

New Orleans Airport Hilton
901 Airline Drive
Kenner, LA 70062
504-469-5000

Thursday, January 4, 2001
7:00 p.m.

Palacios Recreation Center
2401 Perryman
Palacios, TX 77465

361-972-3821
Tuesday, January 9, 2001
7:00 p.m.

Bayou La Batre Community Center
Padgett Switch Road
Bayou La Batre, AL 36509
334-824-7918
Wednesday, January 10, 2001
7:00 p.m.

Madeira Beach City Hall
300 Municipal Drive
Madeira Beach, FL 33708
727-391-9951

In addition, public testimony will be accepted at the Gulf Council meeting in Galveston, Texas on January 17, 2001. Written comments will be accepted if received at the Council office by January 3, 2001.

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 December 27, 2000.

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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