The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meets at the end of this month at the Hyatt Centric800 Iberville Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. You’re welcome to join us in person or watch a live broadcast of the meeting.

Public comment will be held on Wednesday, January 31, from 2:45 – 6:00 pm, CST. If you can’t testify in person, visit our proposed amendments page to learn about the different issues we’re working on and submit your comments. 
The meeting agenda and briefing materials will help you prepare. The following is a quick summary of some of the topics the Council plans to address:

The Council will look at a draft of Spiny Lobster Amendment 13 which considers making federal regulations for spiny lobster bully netting consistent with regulations recently adopted by the State of Florida.  The document also considers allowing Florida to submit proposed lobster regulations directly to National Marine Fisheries Service without requiring Council action.

The Council will receive the SSC recommendations on a document that considers incorporating provisions to allow carry-over of uncaught ACLs and appropriate adjustments to any quota carried over. The Council will consider initiating a change to the framework procedure to make any future efforts to carry-over quota operate in a timely manner.
The Council will consider a public hearing draft document that would allow the use of new sea turtle release gears for commerical and charter vessel/headboats with federal Gulf reef fish permits. The document would also streamline the process by allowing reef fish permit holders to use additional protected species release gear types through the framework procedure. If appropriate, the Council should consider approving the document for a webinar public hearing.
The Council will review of a draft policy statement and outreach program to encourage the use of venting tools or descending devices for reef fish when appropriate. After it is approved, the policy statement will be posted to the Council’s website and distributed to supporting agencies as outlined in the outreach strategy. 

The Council will continue their review of draft documents that consider allowing the Gulf states to manage a portion of the red snapper harvest of recreational red snapper out to 200 nautical miles. 

The Council will look at a revised draft of Reef Fish Amendment 41 which considers establishing an allocation based program to manage reef fish for federally permitted charter vessels. 


Amendment 42 – Reef Fish Management for Headboat Survey Vessels

The Council will continue its review of Amendment 42 which considers creating an allocation-based program to manage reef fish harvest on headboat survey vessels.