This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA04NMF4410020.

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

PUBLIC HEARINGS SCHEDULED TO RECEIVE COMMENTS ON SHRIMP AMENDMENT 13

Tampa, Florida - January 24, 2005 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a series of public hearings to receive public comments on "Amendment Number 13 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Waters with Environmental Assessment, Regulatory Impact Review, and Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis." Amendment 13 contains alternatives to: (1) Establish a separate vessel permit for the royal red shrimp fishery or an endorsement to the existing federal shrimp vessel permit (Action 1); (2) Define MSY, OY, the overfishing threshold, and the overfished condition for royal red and penaeid shrimp stocks in the Gulf (Actions 2 through 7); (3) Establish bycatch reporting methodologies and improve collection of shrimping effort data in the EEZ through the use of logbooks, electronic logbooks, and observers (Action 8); (4) Require completion of a Gulf Shrimp Vessel and Gear Characterization Form by at least a subset of shrimp vessel permit holders (Action 9); (5) Establish a moratorium on the issuance of commercial shrimp vessel permits (Action 10); and (6) Require reporting and certification of landings during a moratorium (Action 11). For each action, a "No Action" alternative may also be considered. The Council is soliciting public comment on alternatives under each of these potential actions, and for other alternatives, that should be considered by the Council. The Council is soliciting public comment on these issues through the public hearings, by mail and by e-mail; and must be received by the Council on or before March 4, 2005.

The public hearings will be held beginning at 7:00 p.m. and concluding no later that 10:00 p.m. at the following locations and dates:

Monday, February 14, 2005 
Holiday Inn I-10 Bellingrath Gardens
5465 Highway 90 West
Mobile, Alabama  36619
866-436-4329
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Doubletree Guest Suites Tampa Bay
3050 North Rocky Point Drive
Tampa, Florida  33607
813-888-8800
Tuesday, February 15, 2005 
Doubletree Grand Key Resort
3990 South Roosevelt Boulevard
Key West, Florida  33040
888-310-1540
Monday, February 21, 2005
Brownsville Events Center
1 Events Center Boulevard
Brownsville, Texas  78526
956-554-0700
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
1141 Bayview Drive
Biloxi, Mississippi  39530
228-347-5000
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Palacios Recreational Center
2402 Perryman
Palacios, Texas  77465
361-972-2387
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
LSU Ag Center Extension Office 
1105 West Port Street 
Abbeville, Louisiana  70510 
337-898-4335
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
San Luis Resort
5222 Seawall Boulevard
Galveston Isand, Texas  77651
409-744-1500
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Ramada Inn Houma
1400 West Tunnel Boulevard
Houma, Louisiana  70360
985-879-4871
Thursday, February 24, 2005
New Orleans Airport Ramada Inn
110 James Drive East
Saint Rose, Louisiana  70097
504-466-1355

Copies of Amendment 13 to the Shrimp FMP can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815. These hearings 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 February 7, 2005.  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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