This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA05NMF4410003.

Gulf Council logoNEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: AS APPROPRIATE
CONTACT: WAYNE E. SWINGLE - 813.228.2815

COUNCIL TO TAKE FINAL ACTION IN MAY ON SHRIMP AMENDMENT 13/EA

Tampa, Florida - April 18, 2005 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will meet May 9 - 12, 2005 at the Palace Casino Resort, 158 Howard Avenue, Biloxi, Mississippi. The Councilís Committees will meet Monday and Tuesday. The Council session will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday with public testimony on Final Shrimp Amendment 13/EA and Exempted Fishing Permits (if any). Persons who wish to testify before the Council must register before the start of the testimony period. Shrimp Amendment 13/EA considers actions 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 (maximum sustainable yield (MSY), optimum yield (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 exclusive economic zone (EEZ) (Action 8); (4) Require completion of a Gulf Shrimp Vessel and Gear Characterization Form (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). Copies of this document are available by calling or e-mailing the Council.

The meeting will begin on Monday, May 9, 2005 with a closed session of the Advisory Panel (AP) Selection Committee at 9:30 a.m. to consider applicants for appointment to the APs, followed by a closed session of the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) Selection Committee beginning at approximately 10:00 a.m. to consider applicants for appointment to the SSCs. A joint meeting of the Budget and Personnel Committees will be held in closed session at 10:15 a.m. to select an Ecosystem Facilitator. Immediately following, there will be an open session to review the Councilís operational budget for CY2005.

The Shrimp Management Committee will meet at 1:00 p.m. to review public hearing summaries, public letters, AP recommendations, Law Enforcement Advisory Panel (LEAP) recommendations, SEP comments, and SSC recommendations on Shrimp Amendment 13/EA and make recommendations to the Council.

A joint meeting of the Administrative Policy, Budget, and Personnel Committees will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. to review the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) revisions to the SOPPs. From 4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., the Habitat Protection Committee will hear reports on the Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Coordinatorsí Meeting, the Southeast Aquatic Resources (SARP) Meeting and receive an update on the liquified natural gas (LNG) facility permit. The Data Collection Committee will meet at 4:45 p.m. to hear a presentation on the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System.

The SEDAR Committee will meet in closed session on Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. to select panel participants for SEDAR Workshops for amberjack, vermilion snapper, and gray triggerfish. The Reef Fish Management Committee will meet from 9:15 a.m. to 12:00 noon to receive a demonstration of bycatch release gear and review Public Hearing Draft Reef Fish Amendment 18A/EA addressing the grouper fishery. The Committee will review a revised options paper for the Red Grouper Regulatory Amendment providing for commercial vessel trip limits and a revised total allowable catch (TAC). The Committee will receive the 2004/2005 red grouper landings data and hear a status report on the interim red grouper rule. The Committee will also discuss the industry buy-out business plan for the grouper fishery.

A joint meeting of the Reef Fish and Mackerel Management Committees will be held on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. to review Public Hearing Draft Generic Amendment for Extension of the Charter Vessel Permit Moratorium.

The Council will act on the Committee recommendations on Wednesday and Thursday morning.

Although other non-emergency issues not on the agendas may come before the Council and Committees 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 these meetings. Actions of the Council and Committees will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agendas 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 Council's intent to take action to address the emergency. The established times for addressing items on the agenda may be adjusted as necessary to accommodate the timely completion of discussions relevant to the agenda items. In order to further allow for such adjustments and completion of all items on the agenda, the meeting may be extended from or completed prior to the date established in this notice. A copy of the committee schedule and Council 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 2, 2005.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight 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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