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

MEETING TO CONSIDER SPECIAL MANAGEMENT ZONES OFF ALABAMA CANCELLED

Tampa, Florida - October 30, 2002 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) has cancelled a joint meeting of its Reef Fish Management Committee and Artificial Reef Committee that was scheduled on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 at the Westin Beach Resort, 97000 South Overseas Highway, Key Largo, Florida. The meeting had been proposed to allow the committees to consider whether the Council should hold workshops in the future to discuss with the public establishing Special Management Zones (SMZs) off Alabama where the number of hooks fished per line may be limited. Mr. Wayne Swingle, Council Executive Director, indicated this issue would be deferred to a subsequent meeting in Alabama, probably in March, 2003. He pointed out that under the system used to establish SMZs it normally takes 8 months for the Council to take final action on any proposal for a SMZ (see attached SMZ Time Period Summary).

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 Council prepares fishery management plans that are designed to manage fishery resources in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 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.

SMZ Time Periods
From: To: Time:
1) Submission by permit holder for artificial reef of request for SMZ designation, along with analyses by the permit holder whether the request meets the criteria for SMZ designation, the COE permit and EA, and other related scientific information. Council scheduling of:
a. Fact Finding Workshop or Hearing
b. SMZ Monitoring Team Meeting
2 months
2) SMZ Monitoring Team Meeting Completion of SMZ Monitoring Team Report and AP-SSC Reviews 2 months
3) Council action on report, SSC and AP recommendations Completion of Draft Regulatory Amendment/EA./RIR/IRA 2 months
4) Council initial review of Draft Regulatory Amendment Council review of Final Regulatory Amendment 2 months
5) Council Final Action Submission of Final Regulatory Amendment to NMFS 1 month
6) NMFS receipt of Final Regulatory Amendment Implementation of Final Rule 9 months
(Time for SAFMC's last SMZ designation)
TOTAL TIME   18 months

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