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

VERMILION SNAPPER REBUILDING PROGRAM SCOPING HEARINGS AND WORKSHOPS ON INDIVIDUAL FISHING QUOTAS (IFQ) SCHEDULED

Tampa, Florida - July 25, 2003 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold scoping meetings to solicit ideas to reduce overfishing in the vermilion snapper fishery. The results of several analyses indicate that the vermilion snapper resource in the Gulf of Mexico is undergoing overfishing. Therefore, the fishing mortality rate (F) on the stock needs to reduced by as much as 50 percent. Possible management actions to reduce F include bag limits for the recreational fishery, trip limits for the commercial fishery, and size limits for both fisheries. In addition, definitions for maximum sustainable yield (MSY), optimum yield (OY), the minimum stock size threshold (MSST) (below which a stock is considered to be overfished), and the maximum fishing mortality threshold (MFMT) (above which a stock is considered to be undergoing overfishing) for vermilion snapper need to be determined.

Immediately following the scoping meetings on vermilion snapper workshops on IFQ systems will be held to acquaint the public with the provisions of the IFQ programs in other areas. A red snapper referendum will be held by National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in late September through November to determine if eligible commercial red snapper fishermen support an IFQ program for their fishery. The purpose of the workshops being held is to inform them how current IFQ systems work and to answer their questions before they vote in the referendum.

Comments will first be taken on the vermilion snapper rebuilding program immediately followed by the red snapper IFQ referendum workshop. The workshops will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the following locations and dates:

Monday, August 18, 2003
Hilton Beachfront Garden Inn 
23092 Perdido Beach Blvd. 
Orange Beach, AL  36561
251-974-1600
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
San Luis Resort
5222 Seawall Boulevard
Galveston Island, TX  77551 
409-744-1500
Tuesday, August 19, 2003 
National Marine Fisheries Service 
3500 Delwood Beach Road 
Panama City, FL 32408 
850-234-6541
Wednesday, August 27, 2003 
New Orleans Airport Hilton 
901 Airline Drive 
Kenner, LA  70062
504-469-5000
Wednesday, August 20, 2003 
Tampa Airport Hilton
2225 Lois Avenue 
Tampa, FL  33607 
813-877-6688
Thursday, August 28, 2003 
Palace Casino Resort
158 Howard Avenue 
Biloxi, MS  39530
800-725-2239
Monday, August 25, 2003 
Port Aransas Community Center
408 North Allister
Port Aransas, TX  78373
361-749-4111
 

These meetings are open to the public and are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office by August 11, 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 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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