This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA17FC2203.

NOAA logoNEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: AS APPROPRIATE
CONTACT: WAYNE E. SWINGLE

COUNCIL TO TAKE FINAL ACTION ON DRAFT AMENDMENTS FOR SHRIMP AND AMBERJACK

Tampa, Florida - April 19, 2002 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold its May 13-16, 2002 meeting at the Hilton Sandestin Beach & Golf Resort, 4000 Sandestin Boulevard South, Destin, Florida and will take public testimony on Draft Shrimp Amendment 10/Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review (EA/RIR), the Secretarial Greater Amberjack Rebuilding Amendment, and the Secretarial Red Grouper Amendment. Although the Council will hear public testimony on the Secretarial Red Grouper Amendment, final action will not be taken until the July 8-12, 2002 Council meeting in Sarasota, Florida. Public testimony on these issues is scheduled from 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, 2002. Persons testifying must register before the start of the testimony period.

The meeting will begin on Monday morning with the Shrimp Management Committee at 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. to hear a staff presentation on a revised Draft Shrimp Amendment 10/EA/RIR and develop recommendations for final action by the full Council on Thursday morning. They will also have a presentation on the effects of shrimp trawling on the environment. The Data Collection Committee will meet from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. to hear presentations on the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission (GSMFC) Recreational Fisheries Information Network (RecFIN) and Commercial Fisheries Information Network (Com/FIN) Programs and the Marine Recreational Fishery Statistics Survey (MRFSS) Artificial Reef Data Program. The Habitat Protection Committee will follow with a meeting from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. to review an Options Paper for an Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) document.

On Tuesday morning, the Spiny Lobster Management Committee will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to review a proposal to increase possession of undersized lobster. The Reef Fish Management Committee will meet on Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to hear a status report on jewfish (goliath grouper) and an evaluation of gag marine reserves. They will also make recommendations for the completion of Secretarial Amendment 2 for Rebuilding Amberjack, a Reef Fish Amendment 21 Scoping Document for Extension of Marine Reserves Rule, and a Regulatory Amendment for Gag and Greater Amberjack Status Determination Criteria. They will hear a progress report of the Ad Hoc Red Snapper Advisory Panel (AP) on development of individual fishing quotas (IFQ) profile, and review Draft Secretarial Amendment 1 for Red Grouper/SEIS. The full Council will consider these recommendations on Thursday.

The Council will act on the committee recommendations on 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 May 6, 2002.

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 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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