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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CONTACT: WAYNE E. SWINGLE - 813.348.1630

COUNCIL TO CONVENE AD HOC RED SNAPPER ADVISORY PANEL (AHRSAP) TO REVIEW RED SNAPPER IFQ AMENDMENT

Tampa, Florida - September 15, 2005 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a meeting of the Ad Hoc Red Snapper Advisory Panel (AHRSAP) on Thursday, October 13, 2005 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Quorum Hotel Tampa, 700 North Westshore Boulevard, Tampa, Florida 33609, telephone 813.289.8200. The AHRSAP will meet to review draft Amendment 26 to the Reef Fish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) that contains alternatives to establish an individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for the commercial red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico that has been declared to be overfished and undergoing overfishing. The IFQ program is being considered to address existing and emerging problems resulting from overcapitalization in this fishery while it recovers. Actions being considered as part of the IFQ program include: its duration; eligibility for shares; initial allocation of shares; potential caps and/or restrictions on shares; and transferability of shares. Other actions being considered include: whether or not shares must be used; how adjustments to the commercial quota will affect allocations and shares; the possible requirement of vessel monitoring systems (VMS) on participating vessels; and a cost recovery plan. The AHRSAPs will develop recommendations to be presented to the Councilís Reef Fish Management Committee at the November 14 - 17, 2005 meeting in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

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 October 3, 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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