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



Tampa, Florida - November 15, 2001 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold its December 10-13, 2001 meeting at the Imperial Palace Hotel, 850 Bayview Avenue, Biloxi, Mississippi and will take final action on Draft Shrimp Amendment 10 with Environmental Assessment (EA). The Council will also consider approval of the Dolphin/Wahoo Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Public testimony on these issues is scheduled from 9:15 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Wednesday, December 12, 2001. Persons testifying must register before the start of the testimony period.

The meeting will begin in closed session on Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. with a meeting of the Advisory Panel (AP) Selection Committee to recommend members for an Ad Hoc EFH/EIS Review Panel.

The Personnel Committee will meet from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Monday morning to consider revisions to the personnel section of the Administrative Handbook. The Administrative Policy Committee will meet from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. to consider revisions of Statement of Organization Practices and Procedures (SOPPS).

The Reef Fish Management Committee will meet on Monday afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to review a consolidated Draft Reef Fish Amendment 18 with a draft supplemental environmental impact statement (DSEIS) that includes measures to further encourage grouper stocks as well as identification of essential fish habitat (EFH), habitat areas of particular concern (HAPCs), and gear impacts. The Committee may develop their recommendations to the Council and to approve public hearing locations. The committee will also discuss a Fishery Management Plan (FMP) review protocol. The full Council will consider these recommendations on Thursday morning. Final action on Reef Fish Amendment 18 will likely be taken at the March 11-15, 2002 Council meeting in Mobile, Alabama. Public testimony on the amendment and DSEIS is scheduled before the Council takes final action.

The Shrimp Management Committee will meet on Tuesday morning from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. to review Draft Amendment 10/EA and develop recommendations to the full Council for final action. The full Council will consider these recommendations on Wednesday afternoon. The Shrimp Committee will also hear a report on the Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries Foundationís Bycatch and Effort Monitoring Program. The Habitat Protection Committee will meet from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon to hear recommendations from Habitat Protection APs and to discuss a proposed Council freshwater inflow policy. The Mackerel Management Committee will meet from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. to make recommendations regarding approval of the Dolphin/Wahoo Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The meeting of the Law Enforcement Committee is scheduled from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday to receive progress reports on the 2001 Operations Plan and Cooperative Enforcement Agreements and to consider the 2002 Operations Plan.

The Council will act on the committee recommendations on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday 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 specifically identified 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 Councilís 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 December 3, 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 Councilís web site at In addition, Council press releases may be received via e-mail by sending a blank e-mail message to with SUBSCRIBE as the subject.