The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to meet

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will meet June 14 - 17, 2010, at the Courtyard Marriott in Gulfport, Mississippi. Council Committees will convene Monday at 10:00 a.m. after a closed session. Committees will meet through Wednesday morning, with the full Council convening at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and adjourning Thursday afternoon. 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 Administrative Policy Committee will meet Monday morning to review modifications to the Councils Statement of Organization Practices and Procedures, and development of a handbook. Beginning at 1:30 p.m. the Council will receive an update on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

At 2:30 p.m., the Reef Fish Management Committee will meet to hear a presentation on gag abundance and the effects of fishing on the male gag population. The Committee will also hear a report of the Standing and Special Reef Fish Scientific and Statistical Committee. Other topics up for discussion by the Reef Fish Management Committee include:

  • Consideration of an interim rule for gag
  • Draft framework amendment to adjust red grouper total allowable catch
  • Options Paper for Reef Fish Amendment 32 for gag and red grouper
  • Final action on a framework action for greater amberjack
  • Reef fish permit income requirement
  • Crew size limit on for-hire vessels when fishing commercially.

Reef Fish Management Committee is expected to meet through Tuesday afternoon.

The Data Collection Committee will convene at 4:00 p.m., Tuesday afternoon to receive an update from the Southeast Fisheries Science Center on the status of the implementation of electronic data reporting. The Committee will also develop a charge for the Vessel Monitoring System Advisory Panel. Finally, the Habitat Protection Committee will receive a status report on Essential Fish Habitat.

Immediately following committee recess on Tuesday, the Council and NOAA Fisheries will host an informal Question and Answer Session on Gulf of Mexico fishery management issues.

On Wednesday morning, the Sustainable Fisheries/Ecosystem Committee will meet to review an options paper for the Generic Annual Catch Limit/Accountability Measures Amendment.

The full Council will convene Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Public testimony will begin at 2:15 p.m., and will be accepted on exempted fishing permits (if any); a final framework action for greater amberjack; and a final regulatory amendment for a red grouper annual catch limit. 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 6:30 p.m. Comment cards must be completed before the start of public testimony.

Beginning Thursday at 8:30 a.m., the Council will deliberate and take action on committee recommendations made earlier in the week. The meeting is expected to conclude by 5:30 p.m. Thursday.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 subject of formal action during these meetings. Actions of the Council and Committees will be restricted to those 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 Tina O'Hern at the Council five days prior to the meeting.

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