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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NEWS RELEASE

RELEASE:    IMMEDIATELY         

CONTACT:    WAYNE SWINGLE    813.348.1630

 

 

WRITTEN COMMENTS BEING ACCEPTED ON GENERIC AMENDMENT 3 TO THE FISHERY

MANAGEMENT PLANS OF THE GULF OF MEXICO (EFH AMENDMENT 3)

 

Tampa, Florida September 27, 2005 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) has available for viewing, a draft Generic Amendment 3 to the Fishery Management Plans of the Gulf of Mexico Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Amendment 3. This generic amendment would amend each of the seven Council FMPs to describe and identify essential fish habitat (EFH); minimize to the extent practicable the adverse effects of fishing on EFH; and encourage conservation and management of EFH.  The FMPs include coral and coral reef resources, costal migratory pelagics, red drum, reef fish, shrimp, spiny lobster, and stone crab. 

 

EFH Amendment 3 would also establish additional habitat areas of particular concern (HAPC), restrict fishing activities within HAPCs to protect EFH, and require a weak link in bottom trawl gear to protect EFH.  The intended effect of EFH Amendment 3 is to facilitate long-term protection of EFH, thereby enabling better conservation and management of fishery resources in the Gulf of Mexico.  Development of this amendment followed the completion of an extensive Economic Impact Statement (EIS) for EFH.

 

Copies of the EIS and the amendment, which includes a Regulatory Impact Review (RIR) and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analyses (RFA), may be obtained from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council web site: www.gulfcouncil.org; or by mailing: 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL  33607; calling: 813-348-1630; faxing: 813-348-1711; or E-mailing: gulfcouncil@gulfcouncil.org a request for copies.

 

All written comments must be received by no later than 5 p.m., Eastern Time, November 10, 2005 and should be submitted by any of the following methods:

 

E-mail: 0648-AS66.NOA@noaa.gov Include 0648-AS66-NOA

in the subject line.

 

Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.  Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

 

Mail: Peter Hood, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL  33701.

 

                        Fax: Attention Peter Hood 727-824-5308.

 

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 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 Council=s 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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