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

Gulf Council logoNEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: AS APPROPRIATE
CONTACT: RICHARD LEARD

SHRIMP ADVISORY PANEL TO DISCUSS TEXAS CLOSURE AND REVIEW A DRAFT AMENDMENT 13 AND AN OPTIONS PAPER FOR AMENDMENT 14 TO THE SHRIMP FMP

Tampa, Florida - December 15, 2003 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a meeting of the Shrimp Advisory Panel (AP) on January 9, 2004 at the New Orleans Airport Hilton, 901 Airline Highway, Kenner, Louisiana, beginning at 8:30 a.m. The Shrimp AP will receive reports from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on the status and health of the shrimp stocks as well as a report on the biological and economic aspects of the 2003 Cooperative Shrimp Closure with the state of Texas. The Shrimp AP may make recommendations for a cooperative closure with Texas for 2004. The Shrimp AP will also review Draft Amendment 13 to the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan (FMP) addressing maximum sustainable yield (MSY), optimum yield (OY), minimum stock size threshold (MSST), and maximum fishing mortality threshold (MFMT) for shrimp stocks, as well as improved effort alternatives and standardized bycatch reporting methodologies. The Shrimp AP will also review an Options Paper for Amendment 14 that includes alternatives for vessel monitoring systems (VMS), additional bycatch reduction measures, and measures to reduce effort in order to achieve OY.

Copies of the agenda can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815 (or toll-free 888-833-1844). Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before the Shrimp AP for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (M-SFCMA), those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Actions of the Shrimp AP will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agenda and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under Section 305(c) of the M-SFCMA, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take action to address the emergency.

This 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 December 29, 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.

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