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    RELEASE:     IMMEDIATELY 

    CONTACT:   CHARLENE PONCE - 813.348.1630

 

 

TWO PUBLIC HEARINGS RESCHEDULED ON REEF FISH AMENDMENT 26 (RED SNAPPER IFQ) SCOPING MEETINGS ON A JOINT REEF FISH/SHRIMP AMENDMENT CANCELED

 

Tampa, Florida October 6, 2005 ‑ The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) has canceled public hearings previously scheduled for Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Key West, Florida and has scheduled additional hearings for Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Pascagoula, Mississippi.  All scoping meetings scheduled  SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1to receive comment on a Joint Reef Fish/Shrimp Amendment are canceled until further notice. The rescheduling is due, in part, to the after effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Pascagoula and Baton Rouge hearings are scheduled as follows:

 

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

LaFont Inn

2703 Denny Avenue

Pascagoula, Mississippi 39567

228.762.7111

 

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Sheraton Baton Rouge

102 France Street

Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802

225.242.2600

 

In addition, individuals interested in participating in the public hearing process, but who are unable to attend any of the scheduled public hearings may participate during the October 19, 2005 hearing via telephone. Interested parties should call 1-800-547-5078 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, in order to participate.   

 

The purpose of the public hearings is to solicit comments on  SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1draft Amendment 26 to the Reef Fish Fishery Management Plan (FMP).  Draft Amendment 26 to the Reef Fish FMP contains alternatives to establish an individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for the commercial red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico, which has been declared overfished and undergoing overfishing. The IFQ program is being considered in order to address existing and emerging problems resulting from overcapitalization in this fishery during recovery. Actions under consideration include: program duration, eligibility for shares, initial allocation of shares, potential caps and/or restrictions on shares, and transferability of shares. 

 

The Council is soliciting public comment on draft Amendment 26 through the public hearing process, as well as by mail, e‑mail, or facsimile. All written comments must be received by the Council on or before November 10, 2005. Copies of the document can be obtained by calling the Council at 813.348.1630 or by e‑mail at gulfcouncil@gulfcouncil.org

 

The full list of public hearings is listed below.  All meetings will begin at 6 p.m. and conclude no later than 10 p.m.

 

Monday, October 17, 2005

National Marine Fisheries Service Laboratory

3500 Delwood Beach Road

Panama City, Florida  32408

850.234.6541

 

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Hilton Garden Inn Orange Beach

23092 Perdido Beach Boulevard

Orange Beach, Alabama  36561

251.974.1600

 

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

LaFont Inn

2703 Denny Avenue

Pascagoula, Mississippi 39567

228.762.7111

 

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Tampa Marriott Westshore

1001 North Westshore Boulevard

Tampa, Florida  33607

813.287.2555

For Conference Call dial 1-800-547-5078

 

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Sheraton Baton Rouge

102 France Street

Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802

225.242.2600

 

Monday, October 24, 2005

Four Points by Sheraton

3777 North Expressway

Brownsville, Texas 78520

956.547.1500

 

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Univ. of TX Marine Science Institute Auditorium

750 Channel View Drive

Port Aransas, Texas 78373

361.749.6711

 

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Holiday Inn Galveston

5002 Seawall Boulevard

Galveston, Texas 77550

409.740.3581

 

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 within five business days of the meeting date.

 

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 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council prepares fishery management plans designed to manage fishery resources in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.