Tuesday, May 30, 2017

June 2017 Council Meeting Preview

Public comment will be held on Wednesday, June 7 from 1:30 – 5:30 p.m. local time. If you can’t testify in person, visit our “Amendments UnderDevelopment” page to comment on, and learn about, the different issues being considered.

The meeting agenda and materials will help you prepare for the meeting and decide when to attend. The following is a quick summary of topics the Council plans to take final action on at this meeting:

Photo: NOAA
Vermillion Snapper Maximum Sustainable Yield Proxy and Annual Catch Limit – Reef Fish Amendment 47
The Council will review public comments and take final action on Amendment 47 which considers advice from the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee to update the vermillion snapper maximum sustainable yield and annual catch limit. None of the alternatives in the document are expected to alter vermilion snapper management measures, such as season length or bag limit.
Photo: Jim Green
Minimum Stock Size Threshold for Reef Fish – Reef Fish Amendment 44
The Council plans to take final action on Reef Fish Amendment 44 after reviewing comments received during public hearing. Minimum stock size threshold is used to determine whether or not a stock is considered to be overfished; if the biomass of the stock dips below the threshold then stock is considered to be overfished. This document considers standardizing the way minimum stock size threshold is set for gag, red grouper, red snapper, vermillion snapper, gray triggerfish, greater amberjack, and hogfish.

Photo: NOAA
Spiny Lobster Annual Catch Limits and Targets – Regulatory Amendment 4
The Spiny Lobster Review panel and the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee have recommended that a longer time series of landings be used to set status determination criteria and acceptable biological catch for spiny lobster. As a result, this amendment considers increasing the spiny lobster overfishing limit and annual catch limit and target. Regulatory Amendment 4 also considers prohibiting the use of traps from recreational harvest in the federal water of the South Atlantic.

Photo: Kathy Hoak
Modify the Number of Unrigged Hooks Carried Onboard Bottom Longline Vessels – Abbreviated Framework Action
The Council will review comments gathered on this abbreviated framework action before taking final action. Currently, bottom longline vessels are allowed to carry 1,000 hooks, of which no more than 750 can be fished or rigged to fish at any time. The Council is considering whether or not to modify the number of unrigged hooks allowed onboard bottom longline vessels.  All of the options presented in the document would still limit vessels to having no more than 750 hooks rigged for fishing at any one time.

As always, don’t hesitate to contact us directly with any questions or comments:  gulfcouncil@gulfcouncil.org