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 DOLPHIN/WAHOO FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLAN, SHRIMP AMENDMENT AND CLOSURE, AND SET TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH FOR RED GROUPER, RED SNAPPER, AND GREATER AMBERJACK

Tampa, Florida - December 14, 2000 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) at its January 15-19, 2001 meeting at the San Luis Hotel, 5222 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, Texas will take final action several fishery management issues after hearing public testimony. The Council will take final action on some of the provisions for an FMP to manage dolphin (fish) and wahoo in the Gulf and Atlantic areas. The Council will take final action on Amendment 11 to the Shrimp fishery management plan (FMP) which has alternatives for vessel permits and permitting of vessel operators. The Council will set the Texas Shrimp Closure for 2001. The Council will consider stock assessment information that may result in setting total allowable catch (TAC) and restrictive management measures for greater amberjack and red grouper. The Council will also consider adopting a 5-year restoration scenario for rebuilding of the overfished red snapper stock. The TAC and management measures would remain constant over this 5-year period and then be adjusted based on new stock assessment information in 2005. Public testimony on these issues is scheduled from 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 17, 2001. Persons testifying must register before the start of the testimony period.

The Reef Fish Management Committee will meet Monday afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Tuesday morning from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. to develop its recommendations to the Council on TAC for the reef fish stocks and to review an options paper for grouper management. The Shrimp Management Committee will meet Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to develop recommendations to the Council for the extent of the Texas Shrimp Closure for 2001 and the provisions of Amendment 11. The Mackerel Management Committee will meet on Tuesday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. to hear a stock assessment report on wahoo and to develop recommendations to the Council on the provisions of the Dolphin/Wahoo FMP.

Other committees meeting on Monday and Tuesday will consider 1) the National Artificial Reef Plan, 2) Habitat protection issues related to Brownsville Weir and Reservoir project and Gulf Intercoastal Waterway (near Freeport), and 3) a Strategic Law Enforcement Plan for the Gulf.

The Council will act on the committee recommendations on Thursday and Friday morning, followed by agency reports.

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 specificallyidentified 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 January 8, 2001.

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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