Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to Meet in Gulfport, Mississippi

Release Date: 10/16/2012

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will meet October 29 through November 1, 2012, at the Courtyard Marriott, 1600 East Beach Boulevard, Gulfport, Mississippi. The Council Committees will begin meeting Monday at 10:00 am and will meet through 11:30 am Wednesday. The full Council will convene at 1:00 pm Wednesday and is expected to adjourn by 4:00 pm Thursday. Agenda highlights are summarized below.  For a copy of the detailed agenda or to review briefing book materials, please visit the Council web site at or call 888-833-1844.

The meeting will open Monday with the Ad Hoc Restoration Committee, which will discuss options for potential restoration projects under both the National Resource Damage Assessment process and the RESTORE Act. The Data Collection Committee will then meet to review a scoping document for electronic reporting requirements by for-hire vessels.

The Shrimp Management Committee will discuss the status of the Electronic Logbook reporting program. The Committee will also review a new shrimp Stock Assessment for penaeid shrimp; SSC recommendations; and the status and health of gulf shrimp stocks. Finally, the Committee will discuss exempted fishing permits related to shrimp (if any).

Later in the afternoon, the SSC Selection Committee will discuss the duties and responsibilities of the SSC, and the Advisory Panel Selection Committee will meet in a closed session with the full Council to review and appoint members to the new Ad Hoc Artificial Substrate Advisory Panel and to discuss appointments of former Council members to advisory panels.

On Tuesday, the Reef Fish Management Committee will meet to to discuss the Red Snapper Individual Fishing Quota 5-Year Review, including recommendations from the Socioeconomic SSC. The Committee will also review:

  • Economic Evaluation of Red Snapper Allocation
  • Final action on Amendment 37 - Gray Triggerfish Rebuilding Plan
  • Scoping document for Amendment 39 - Regional Management of Red Snapper
  • The 2013 red snapper season and non-compliance by states
  • Draft Regulatory Amendment for Vermilion Snapper Annual Catch Limits and Bag Limits
  • Final action on a Regulatory Amendment to set the 2013 Gag Recreational Season and Bag Limits
  • SEDAR 27 - Yellowtail Snapper Benchmark Assessment
  • Additional comments from the SSC and Socioeconomic SSC
  • Exempted Fishing Permits related to reef fish (if any)

Immediately following the Committee recess Tuesday, the Council and NOAA Fisheries will hold an informal Question and Answer session on general fishery management issues.

Beginning at 8:30 am Wednesday, the Council will continue with remaining agenda items from the Reef Fish Management Committee. The Joint Reef Fish/Mackerel/Red Drum Committees will convene at 9:30 am, to consider modifications to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics reporting requirements suggested by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council under its Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 3. Committee meetings will close with a meeting of the Law Enforcement Committee to review and approve a new Gulf of Mexico Cooperative Law Enforcement Strategic Plan 2013 through 2016, and a new Gulf of Mexico Cooperative Law Enforcement Operations Plan 2013 through 2014. 

The full Council will convene Wednesday at 1:00 pm beginning with the approval of the 2013 Committee appointments. 

Beginning at 1:45 pm, the Council will take public comment on the following:

  • Final Reef Fish Amendment 37 - Gray Triggerfish Rebuilding Plan
  • Regulatory Amendment to set the 2013 Gag Recreational Season and Bag Limits
  • Exempted fishing permits (if any)

The Council will also hold an open public comment session to give members of the public an opportunity to address the Council on fishery issues that may not be on the agenda. Open public comment will be taken immediately following public testimony until 5:30 pm. Comment cards must be completed before the start of public testimony.

Beginning Thursday at 8:30 am, the Council will deliberate and take action on committee recommendations made earlier in the week. 

Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before the Council and Committees for discussion, in accordance with the M-SFCMA, those issues may not be the subjects of formal action. Actions of the Council and Committees will be restricted to issues specifically identified in the agendas and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under Section 305(c) of the M-SFCMA, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take action to address the emergency.

The established times for addressing items on the agenda may be adjusted as necessary to accommodate the timely completion of discussion relevant to the agenda items. In order to allow for such adjustments and completion of all items on the agenda, the meeting may be extended from, or completed prior to, the date established in this notice. Meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kathy Pereira at the Council office at least five days prior to the meeting.

About Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Council prepares fishery management plans, which are designed to manage fishery resources within the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico.