The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will meet next week, from June 24 – 27 at the Omni Houston Hotel in Houston, Texas. During the meeting, the Council plans to select new members for its Scientific and Statistical Committee and will finalize appointments to its Ad Hoc Commercial Red Snapper/Grouper-Tilefish, Reef Fish, and Shrimp Advisory Panels.


Here’s the full agendameeting materials, and webinar registration.


Public testimony will be held on Wednesday, June 26th from 1:30 – 5:00 PM CDT.


  • In-person attendees wishing to give public testimony must sign-up using the kiosk near the entrance to the meeting room.


  • Virtual participants must register online to provide testimony and join the Council meeting webinar. Online registration will open at 8:30 AM the day of, and we encourage you to register at least an hour before testimony begins. Please be sure to register to comment and login to the webinar using the same name so we can identify you and allow you to speak. If you have any difficulties, email [email protected].


The following is a quick description of some of the other issues that the Council will address:

Commercial Individual Fishing Quota Program

The Council will continue to work on two amendments that consider changes to the Commercial Individual Fishing Quota Programs. Reef Fish Amendment 59 considers requirements for obtaining an Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) account and holding and obtaining shares and allocation. Reef Fish Amendment 60 considers alternative approaches to distributing IFQ shares and allocation.


20-Fathom Recreational Shallow-Water Grouper Closure

The Council will hear a presentation on the February – March 20-fathom recreational closure for shallow-water grouper and hear recommendations from its Reef Fish Advisory Panel. The Council is expected to provide direction on whether to modify, remove, or retain the current closure.


Lane Snapper

The Council recently received notice that lane snapper is subject to overfishing. This determination comes despite recent Council actions to increase lane snapper catch limits in 2021 and again in January of 2024. The Co

uncil is obligated to make management changes that end overfishing within two years. During this meeting the Council plans to review its Reef Fish Advisory Panel Recommendations and discuss potential management options to end overfishing.


Red Snapper Charter Fishing Season and ACT Buffer

The Council will hear a presentation on adjusting the federal for-hire season and the buffer between the federal for-hire component red snapper annual catch limit and annual catch target which is currently 9%.  The Council will also consider the implications of opening the federal for-hire season earlier in the year in lieu of extending the season into late August.


King Mackerel

The Council will begin work on Framework Amendment 15 which considers addressing declines in the harvest of king mackerel and concerns abo

ut stock abundance by reducing catch limits and the recreational daily bag limit. While the most recent stock assessment (SEDAR 38 Update, 2019), indicated that the stock is not overfished or undergoing overfishing as of the 2017/2018 fishing year, catch advice resulting from the assessment represent an approximate 19% decrease in allowable catch because of a change to the estimate of virgin biomass and due to decreased recruitment.  Additionally, a

n interim analysis completed in 2023, which did not update catch levels, showed  aan observed decline in recruitment in two fishery-independent surveys.  Due to limited data onjuvenile king mackerel it is difficult to understand what is driving the observed reduction in the stock.


Spanish Mackerel

The Council will continue work on a framework amendment that considers updating catch limits for the Gulf migratory group of Spanish mackerel, based on the results of a

recent stock assessment (SEDAR 81 2023) and recommendations from the Council’s SSC.  SEDAR 81 incorporated new recreational landings data using MRIP-FES, and determined that as of 2021, Spanish mackerel is not overfished or experiencing overfishing.  However, landings and catch-per-unit-effort have both decreased in recent years and commercial and recreational harvests have consistently been much lower than the annual catch limit.  As a result, new catch advice represents a 35% decrease in allowable harvest.