This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA03NMF4410028.

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

COUNCIL TO TAKE FINAL ACTION ON REGULATORY AMENDMENT FOR COASTAL MIGRATORY PELAGICS AND REEF FISH AMENDMENT 21

Tampa, Florida - April 18, 2003 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold its May 12-15, 2003 meeting at the Edgewater Beach Resort, 11212 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, Florida and will take public testimony on the Draft Coastal Migratory Pelagics (CMP) Regulatory Amendment and Draft Reef Fish Amendment 21. The draft CMP Regulatory Amendment sets standards for maximum sustainable yield (MSY), optimum yield (OY), overfished and overfishing for king and Spanish mackerel, and cobia. Draft Reef Fish Amendment 21 contains a proposal to extend the time period for the Madison/Swanson and Steamboat Lumps marine reserves beyond their June 16, 2004 expiration date. Final action to approve Reef Fish Amendment 21 will be taken at a subsequent meeting. Public testimony is scheduled from 8:45 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Wednesday, May 14, 2003. Persons testifying must register before the start of the testimony period.

The meeting will begin on Monday morning with a closed session of the Personnel Committee from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. The Shrimp Management Committee will meet from 10:00 a.m. to to 11:30 a.m. to discuss the provisions of Draft Shrimp Amendment 13 Options Paper and consider potential actions regarding Shrimp Amendment 10.

The Reef Fish Management Committee will meet on Monday afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to hear presentations regarding the evaluation of the Madison/Swanson and Steamboat Lumps Marine Reserves and the results of a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) trolling study. There will also be presentations by Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) personnel on fish traps and by NMFS on vessel monitoring systems (VMS). The committee will review public comments and recommendations by the Scientific and Statistical Committee and Reef Fish Advisory Panel on Amendment 21 and make recommendations to be considered by the full Council on Wednesday afternoon.

The Administrative Policy Committee will meet on Tuesday, May 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. to discuss proposed revisions to the Councilís Administrative Handbook. The Law Enforcement Committee will meet from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon to discuss criminal penalties for managing game and fish resources and to approve the Enforcement Operations Plan. They will also hear a request by the Worldwide Water Foundation for fishing vessel designation.

There will be a joint meeting of the Reef Fish, Mackerel, and Red Drum Management Committees on Tuesday afternoon from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. to discuss the proposed scoping document on a generic aquaculture amendment. The Mackerel Management Committee will meet from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to review and comment on the final CMP Regulatory Amendment and to discuss a scoping document for Draft CMP Amendment 15.

From 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon there will be presentations on individual fishing quotas (IFQs). The Council will act on the committee recommendations Wednesday afternoon and Thursday 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 (MSFCMA), 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 5, 2003.

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.

X X X