Wednesday, August 10, 2016

August 2016 Council Meeting Preview

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meets next week at the Astor Crowne Plaza in New Orleans, Louisiana. You’re welcome to join us or watch a live broadcast of the meeting.

Public comment will be held on Wednesday, August 17 from 2:15 – 5:00 pm CST. If you can’t testify in person, visit our proposed amendments page to learn about the different issues we’re currently working on and submit your comments.

The meeting agenda and briefing materials should help prepare you for the meeting. The following is a quick look at some of the hot topics the Council will address next week:

Photo: Sea Grant
Data Collection
The Council will take another look at an amendment that considers making modifications to Charter Vessel and Headboat Reporting Requirements. The Council will consider modifying the frequency and mechanism of data reporting, requiring trip notification, and discuss hardware/software requirements and the potential for location tracking.

Coral/Habitat Protection
The Council will hear a summary of a recent meeting of the Shrimp and Coral Advisory Panels and the Coral Scientific and Statistical Committee.  The Council will also discuss a comment letter on the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Expansion Draft Environmental Impact Statement and take comment on the issue.

Photo: Troy Frady
The Council will review the most recent draft of Amendment 46, which considers modifying the gray triggerfish rebuilding plan.  A recent stock assessment indicated that the triggerfish stock continues to be overfished and the Council’s scientific advisors revised the acceptable biological catch levels. Along with determining new catch levels for the stock, the Council will consider changes to the recreational bag limits, size limits, and closed season; and commercial closed season and trip limit.

Red Snapper Management for Federally Permitted Charter Vessels
The Council will discuss the latest draft of Reef Fish Amendment 41, which considers creating a red snapper management plan for federally permitted for-hire vessels fishing under the for-hire component of the recreational red snapper allocation.

Photo: Mike Jennings
Federal Reef Fish Headboat Management
The Council will review a draft of Reef Fish Amendment 42, which considers creating a management plan for for-hire vessels with individual catch history fishing for reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Photo: Captain Jennings

The Council will continue to discuss Coastal Migratory Pelagic Amendment 29, which considers allocation sharing strategies between recreational and commercial sectors and associated accountability measures for Gulf migratory group king mackerel.

After the Council meeting we’ll be hosting a wrap-up webinar. Please join us at 6 p.m. EST on Wednesday, August 24 for a quick presentation followed by a question and answer session.