This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA07FC0015.
CONTACT: STEVEN ATRAN
STANDING AND SPECIAL REEF FISH SCIENTIFIC AND STATISTICAL COMMITTEE AND REEF FISH ADVISORY PANEL TO REVIEW REEF FISH AMENDMENT 18 IN NEW ORLEANS
Tampa, Florida - May 18, 2001 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a meeting of the Standing and Special Reef Fish Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) on Tuesday, June 12, 2001, and a meeting of the Reef Fish Advisory Panel (AP) on Wednesday, June 13, 2001. Both meetings will be held at the New Orleans Airport Hilton, 901 Airline Highway, Kenner, Louisiana, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The SSC and the AP will be asked to review and comment on proposals contained in draft Reef Fish Amendment 18, which will establish a 10-year red grouper rebuilding program and address other gear and enforcement issues. The SSC and AP will also be asked to review and comment on a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) which updates the last SEIS (published in 1993 as part of Amendment 5), reviews environmental impacts of the Amendment 18 alternatives, and identifies reef fish essential fish habitat (EFH). The issues contained in draft Reef Fish Amendment 18 and the Councilís preferred alternatives are as follows:
- 126.96.36.199 Establish a longline/buoy gear endorsement - [No Preferred Alternative Selected]
- 188.8.131.52 Transferability of endorsement - Fully transferable
- 184.108.40.206 Appeals board - Appeals to be handled by NMFS
- 10.1 - Red Grouper Sustainable Fishing Parameters: Set red grouper maximum sustainable yield (MSY), fishing mortality rate at MSY (FMSY), and spawning stock biomass proxy at MSY (SSMSY) at the range of values estimated by the Reef Fish Stock Assessment Panel, MSY = 6.705 to 7.012 million pounds; FMSY = 0.223 to 0.270; SSMSY = 350.7 to 433.2 million grams female gonad weight.
- 10.2 - Red Grouper Minimum Stock Size Threshold (MSST): Red grouper minimum stock size threshold (MSST) shall be 80% of SSMSY (280.6 to 346.6 million grams female gonad weight).
- 10.3 - Red Grouper Maximum Fishing Mortality Threshold (MFMT): Red grouper maximum fishing mortality threshold (MFMT) shall be FMSY (0.223 to 0.270), or the F consistent with recovery to the MSY level in no more than 10 years.
- 10.4 - Red Grouper Optimum Yield (OY): Red grouper optimum yield (OY) shall be 90% of MSY (6.035 to 6.311 million pounds).
- 10.5 - Red Grouper Rebuilding Strategy: Adopt a 10-year red grouper rebuilding plan based on a constant catch strategy. The annual ABC during the rebuilding period is initially set at 4.3-5.2 million pounds. (This is a reduction of 21%-34% from the 1996-99 average landings of 6.6 million pounds.) This ABC range may be modified following a future stock assessment by a regulatory amendment or plan amendment.
- 10.6 - Commercial Shallow-Water Grouper Closed Seasons - [No Preferred Alternative Selected]
- 10.7 - Recreational Closed Seasons - [No Preferred Alternative Selected]
- 10.8 - Commercial Grouper Trip Limits - [No Preferred Alternative Selected]
- 10.9 - Recreational Grouper Bag Limits - [No Preferred Alternative Selected]
- 10.10 - Closed Areas - [No Preferred Alternative Selected]
Copies of the agendas, draft Reef Fish Amendment 18, and the draft SEIS 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 SSC or 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 SSC and AP will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agendas 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. These meetings are open to the public and are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office by June 5, 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.
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