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The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will meet February 3-6, 2014, at the Westin Galleria Hotel, 5060 W. Alabama Street in Houston, Texas. Council Committees will convene Monday beginning at 8:30 am. 

The full Council will convene Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and is expected to adjourn by 4:30 pm Thursday. Agenda highlights are summarized below.  

Committee meetings will open Monday with the Administrative Policy Committee, which is scheduled to review a draft of the revised Administrative Handbook.

The Outreach and Education Committee is also meeting to review:

  • Summary of the Stakeholder Communications Survey Results
  • Summary of the December 6, 2013, Outreach and Education Advisory Panel Webinar
  • Gulf-wide Recreational Angler Participation Session Update

The full Council will convene a closed session Monday afternoon from 1:30 to 2:00 to hear a report from NOAA General Counsel and to discuss an appointment to the Ad Hoc Artificial Substrate Advisory Panel.

Beginning at 2:00 pm, the Shrimp Management Committee will meet to:

  • Review a draft options paper for Shrimp Amendment 15 – Status Determination Criteria for Penaeid Shrimp and Adjustments to the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan Framework Procedure
  • Discuss the Annual Catch Limit Adjustment and Accountability Measures for Royal Red Shrimp 

The Sustainable Fisheries/Ecosystem Management Committee will also meet to review the SSC recommendations and discuss a Draft Framework Action to Update Tier 3 ACLs with Revised MRIP Landings. Also up for discussion is a Draft Framework Action to Define For-Hire Fishing in the Federal Waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

 

The Reef Fish Management Committee will meet from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Monday, and again from 8:30 am – 5:30 pm Tuesday. On the Reef Fish agenda:

  • NMFS Update on Current MRIP Estimates
  • Discussion on Public Hearing Draft Amendment 28 – Red Snapper Allocation
  • Report of the Ad Hoc Red Snapper IFQ Advisory Panel
  • Discussion of Amendment 39 – Recreational Red Snapper Regional Management
  • Discussion of Amendment 40 Options Paper – Sector Separation
  • Discussion on Final Action of a Framework Action to Rescind Amendment 30B – Permit Conditions
  • Discussion of Standing and Reef Fish Scientific and Statistical Committee Report
  • Discussion on Exempted Fishing Permits Related to Reef Fish – if any

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

 

The Mackerel Management Committee will convene Wednesday morning to take final action on Amendment 30B – Boundaries and Transit Provisions. The Committee will also discuss a Framework Action to Modify the Spanish Mackerel Annual Catch Limit and Annual Catch Target; the purpose and timing of CMP Amendment 24 – Reallocation of Gulf King Mackerel and Atlantic Spanish Mackerel; and CMP Amendment 26 – Split Permits between the Gulf and South Atlantic for Spanish and King Mackerel. 

The last committee to convene is the Gulf SEDAR Committee. This committee will receive an update on SEDAR 33 – Gag and Greater Amberjack; SEDAR 38 – Gulf and South Atlantic King Mackerel; and the SEDAR Steering Committee. 

The full Council will convene at 1:30 pm Wednesday. Public testimony is scheduled to begin at 1:45 p.m. and will be taken on the following:

  • Final Action – CMP (Mackerel) Amendment 20B – Boundaries and Transit Provisions;
  • Final Action – Framework to Rescind Reef Fish Amendment 30B Permit Conditions

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 will begin immediately following public testimony and will conclude no later than 4:30 pm.  Anyone wishing to speak must sign up prior to the comment period.

 

Before adjourning for the day, the Council will review and vote on any exempted fishing permits and review and take action on committee recommendations from the Outreach and Education Committee and the Shrimp Management Committee.

 

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

For a copy of the detailed agenda, or to watch the meeting live, please visit http://gulfcouncil.org/council_meetings/index.php or call 888-833-1844. Briefing book materials can be downloaded from the Council FTP site at https://public.gulfcouncil.org:5001/webman/index.cgi. Both the username and password are “gulfguest”

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.

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