Through the creation of Fishery Management Plans, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council provides the basis for management of fishery resources in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf).

Fishery management plans, or amendments to plans, aim to make fishery management measures that ensure healthy fish stocks and regulations that achieve the greatest overall benefit to the nation.

Proposed management measures within fishery management plans, or amendments, become federal regulations when implemented by the Secretary of Commerce. Regulations are enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard, enforcement agents from the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Gulf states.

Implemented plans and regulations are reviewed regularly and may be updated or modified after public review, to accommodate changing conditions and needs.