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: 
RICHARD LEARD – 813.348.1630

 

LAW ENFORCEMENT ADVISORY PANEL SCHEDULED TO REVIEW THE IMPACT OF HURRICANE KATRINA AND HURRICANE RITA ON FISHERY ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES IN THE GULF OF MEXICO AND OTHER ISSUES

Tampa, Florida – September 27, 2005

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene the Law Enforcement Advisory Panel (LEAP) to review law enforcement concerns regarding the impact of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent fishery failure recently declared by U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez. 

In addition, the LEAP will hold discussions regarding Shrimp Amendment 14/Reef Fish Amendment 27 scoping document, Reef Fish Amendment 18B, draft Reef Fish Amendment 26 for a red snapper Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) program, regulatory amendments for red snapper and red grouper, and a regulatory amendment to change the bycatch reduction device (BRD) certification criterion for red snapper.

Both Shrimp Amendment 14/Reef Fish Amendment 27 and Reef Fish Amendment 18B are currently under development.  Shrimp14/Reef Fish 27 will address finfish bycatch in the shrimp trawl fishery, while Reef Fish 18B addresses rebuilding plans for Nassau grouper and goliath grouper.  This amendment also looks at the incorporation of the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process into the framework procedure for setting total allowable catch (TAC), and defining limits for those reef fish species with no set parameters, per the Sustainable Fisheries Act.

Draft Amendment 26 to the Reef Fish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) establishes an IFQ program for the commercial red snapper fishery that is designed to reduce overcapacity, lengthen the fishing season, lower operating costs, improve market conditions, and increase safety at sea.  Regulatory amendments to address the overfishing of red snapper and red grouper are currently under development. The regulatory amendment to change BRD certification criterion will give shrimpers additional BRD choices that are more effective than the current Fisheye BRD and result in higher shrimp retention.

Also slated for consideration by the panel is the status of FMPs, amendments and regulatory actions, as well as the panel’s future interface with the Gulf Council.

The LEAP consists of principal law enforcement officers in each of the Gulf states, as well as the NMFS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s General Counsel for law enforcement. 

The panel will meet Tuesday, October 18, 2005 from 8:30 to noon and is part of the 56th Annual meeting of the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, which is scheduled to meet from October 17 -20, 2005.  The meeting will be held at the Grosvenor Resort in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1850 Hotel Plaza Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  A copy of the agenda and related materials can be obtained by calling the Council office at 813-348-1630.

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 five working days prior to the meeting. 

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is 1 of 8 regional fishery management councils 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.

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. 

                                                                          XXX