This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA17FC1052.

NOAA logoNEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY
CONTACT: RICHARD L. LEARD

LAW ENFORCEMENT ADVISORY PANEL TO REVIEW MANAGEMENT OPTIONS FOR REEF FISH, COBIA AND SHRIMP

Tampa, Florida - October 5, 2001 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene the Law Enforcement Advisory Panel (LEAP) to discuss Draft Amendment 18 to the Reef Fish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) that contains various and numerous alternatives for the management of groupers and an Options Paper for Amendment 13 to the Shrimp FMP that contains alternatives to add rock shrimp to the Shrimp FMP, set maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and optimum yield (OY) levels, as well as definitions of overfishing and overfished for each shrimp stock, and consider bycatch quotas for red snapper. The LEAP will also review of status of cobia and possible management needs and receive an update on the stateís joint enforcement agreements.

The LEAP will also receive status reports of various FMPs, amendments, and regulatory actions as well as state and federal enforcement reports. A progress report on the implementation of the 2001 Operations Plan will also be presented, and the LEAP will consider adoption of a Cooperative Law Enforcement Operations Plan for 2002 that was developed by the LEAP and the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissionís (GSMFC) Law Enforcement Committee (LEC).

The LEAP consists of principal law enforcement officers in each of the Gulf states, as well as the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the U.S. Coast Guard, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationís (NOAA) General Counsel. The LEAP meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 31, 2001 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon. The meeting will be held at the W. Hotel, 333 Poydras Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. A copy of the agenda and related materials can be obtained by calling the Council office at 813-228-2815.

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 October 24, 2001. Although other non-emergency issues not on the agendas may come before the LEAP for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (M-SFCMA), those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Actions of the LEAP 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 M-SFCMA, provided that the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take action to address such emergency.

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, amendments, and other regulatory actions that are designed to manage fishery resources in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

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