The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight US Regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Council prepares fishery management plans (FMPs) designed to manage fishery resources in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The Council balances competing interests to make fishery management recommendations using scientific advice from NOAA Fisheries Service and public opinion. The Council’s recommendations aim to achieve the greatest overall benefit to the nation consistent with the ten national standards laid out by the Magnuson Stevens Act.
The Council’s jurisdiction (federal waters) extends from three to 200 miles off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, and nine to 200 miles off Texas and the west coast of Florida. The Gulf Council manages reef fish, shrimp, spiny lobster, coastal migratory pelagics, corals, essential fish habitat, red drum, and aquaculture.