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

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RELEASE: AS APPROPRIATE
CONTACT: STEVEN ATRAN - 813.228.2815

PUBLIC WORKSHOPS SCHEDULED ON ECOSYSTEM APPROACHES TO FISHERIES MANAGEMENT

Tampa, Florida - June 21, 2005 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a series of public workshops to provide information about, and seek input on, ecosystem objectives for fisheries management.

The Report of the United States Commission on Ocean Policy, as well as other public agencies and international advisory groups, have called for greater emphasis on ecosystem principles to be used in formulating fishery management approaches, and this emphasis is likely to be considered when mandates under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (M-SFCMA) are reconsidered by Congress. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) is one of four Councils participating in a pilot project to develop an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (the four Councils in the pilot project are New England, Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico).

One of the initial tasks of this project for the Council is to hold a series of public meetings seeking input regarding ecosystem objectives for fisheries management. The purpose of these meetings will be to facilitate wide-ranging discussions with stakeholder groups and the general public in eight topic areas: (1) views regarding the adequacy of current approaches for addressing ecosystem considerations, (2) the nature of ecosystem-based management and the goals to be achieved in addressing ecosystem issues, (3) the nature of the public decision making processes within the Council for addressing management tradeoffs, consistent with identified goals, (4) mechanisms for considering activities outside the Councilís purview but influencing ecosystem productivity, (5) the boundaries of sub-regional ecosystems within the Gulf of Mexico, (6) the types of management measures that would be incorporated into ecosystem approaches for fishery management, consistent with the identified goals, (7) the specific regional issues that need to be addressed in a fisheries ecosystem plan (FEP), (8) techniques for determining success of ecosystem-based management, and (9) other issues considered important to the stakeholders in the Gulf region.

The public workshops will be conducted by an independent facilitator, who will report the results to the Council at its September 2005 meeting in New Orleans. The workshops will be held beginning at 7:00 p.m. and concluding no later than 9:00 p.m. at the following locations and dates:

Monday, July 11, 2005 
DiamondHead Beach Resort
2000 Estero Beach Resort
Fort Myers Beach, Florida  33931
239-765-7654
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
National Marine Fisheries Service
3500 Delwood Beach Road
Panama City, Florida 32408
850-234-6541
Monday, July 18, 2005 
Best Western Westshore Hotel
1200 North Westshore Boulevard
Tampa. Florida  33607
813-282-3636
Monday, August 1, 2005
New Orleans Airport Ramada
110 James Drive East
St. Rose, Louisiana  70087
504-466-1355
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
DoubleTree Grand Key Resort
3990 South Roosevelt Boulevard
Key West, Florida  33040
888-310-1540
Tuesday, August 2, 2005
The San Luis Resort
5222 Seawall Boulevard
Galveston, Texas  77551
409-744-1500
Monday, July 25, 2005
Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
1141 Bayview Drive
Biloxi, Mississippi  39530
228-374-5000
Wednesday, August 3, 2005
Omni Corpus Christie, Bayfront Tower
900 North Shoreline
Corpus Christi, Texas  78401
361-887-1600
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Orange Beach Community Center
4849 Wilson Boulevard
Orange Beach, Alabama  36561
253-981-6028
 

The 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 June 27, 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, as amended. 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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