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 SECRETARIAL REEF FISH AMENDMENT 1

Tampa, Florida - June 14, 2002 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold its July 8-12, 2002 meeting at the Hyatt Sarasota Hotel, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota, Florida and will take public testimony on the Secretarial Reef Fish Amendment 1/Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Public testimony on these issues is scheduled from 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10, 2002 and will continue on Thursday, July 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. if necessary. Persons testifying must register before the start of the testimony period and are encouraged to testify on Wednesday as the Thursday testimony session will end at 11:30 a.m. or before if no one is present to testify.

The meeting will begin on Monday morning with the Habitat Protection Committee at 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. to review a Preliminary Draft of the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for the Generic Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Amendment. The Shrimp Management Committee will meet on Monday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to review a preliminary Options Paper for Shrimp Amendment 13, to hear presentations on the status of the condition of shrimp stocks, on the evaluation of the Tortugas shrimp fishery, and the recommendations of the Shrimp Stock Assessment Panel for criterion to assess the status of each shrimp stock.

The Reef Fish Management Committee will meet on Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to hear a progress report of the Ad Hoc Red Snapper Advisory Panel (AP) on development of individual fishing quota (IFQ) profile. They will then review and make recommendations for the full Council for final action on the Draft Secretarial Amendment 1 for Red Grouper/SEIS. The full Council will consider these recommendations on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. The Committee will also review the first draft of an amendment for a rebuilding program for amberjack.

The Spiny Lobster Management Committee will meet on Tuesday afternoon from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to review the proposed Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) rule on increasing the possession limit for undersized lobster.

The Council will act on the committee recommendations on Thursday afternoon 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 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 July 1, 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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