BlogPrimo fish
Photo Credit: Primofish

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meets next
week at the Hilton in Clearwater Beach, Florida to discuss some important
fisheries issues.  You’re welcome to join
us. Since it’s not always practical to travel to a meeting, you can watch this
live broadcast from the comfort of your home or office if you prefer.

Public comment is set for Wednesday, June 22 at 1:45 pm. If
you can’t testify in person.
You can also check out this the meeting agenda and briefing materials to prepare for the meeting. The following is a quick look at some of
the issues the Council will address next week:
Photo: Emily Muehlstein


After hearing a summary of the comments received during
public hearings, the Council plans to take final action on Reef Fish Amendment
43, which considers changes to hogfish management. A recent stock assessment prompted
the Council to consider changing the jurisdictional boundary of the hogfish
stock in the Gulf and revise hogfish annual catch limits. The Council is also
considering increasing the commercial and recreational minimum size limits for

Red Snapper Sector
Separation Sunset Provision
After hearing a summary of the comments received during
public hearings, the Council plans to take final action on Amendment 45, which
considers changing the sunset provision that will end the separate management
of private anglers and federally permitted charter boats at the end of 2017.
Photo: Emily Muehlstein

Spiny Lobster

The Council is considering increasing the spiny lobster
annual catch limit. This proposed revision is triggered by two factors; the
combined commercial and recreational spiny lobster harvest has exceeded the
annual catch limit in two of the past four years, and the Gulf Council’s
scientific advisors increased the spiny lobster acceptable biological catch

A recent stock assessment indicates that the triggerfish
stock remains overfished. The Council’s scientific advisors revised the
acceptable biological catch levels and the Council needs to consider developing
a new rebuilding plan for the stock.  Along
with determining new catch levels for the stock, the Council will also 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
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: Emily Muehlstein

Federal Reef Fish Headboat Management

The Council will review the input received from its Ad Hoc
Reef Fish Headboat Advisory Panel and discuss a revised draft of Reef Fish
Amendment 42 which considers creating a management plan for federally permitted
headboats fishing for reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico.
After the Council meeting we’ll host a wrap-up webinar to
review what happened. Please join us at 6 p.m. EST Wednesday, June 29, for
a quick presentation followed by a question and answer session.

As always, if you have any questions you’re welcome to email us.