General

Photo: Mark Miller

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will meet next
week in New Orleans, Louisiana to work on some fishery issues that may interest
you. You are welcome to attend the meeting in person or you can listen from your computer.
The committee agenda and full Council agenda will help you
figure out when the Council plans to discuss the topics that you’re interested
in.
Join us for public comment, which will be held on Wednesday,
October 30th from 1:30 – 4:30 pm. We also invite you to an informal
question and answer session that will be held on Tuesday night immediately
after Council adjourns for the day.
Read on for a brief description of some of the issues that
Council will discuss next week:
Coastal Migratory
Pelagics
Photo: Emily Muehlsten
The Council plans to take final action on two amendments
that have been developed jointly with the South Atlantic Fishery Management
Council. Amendment 20A (formerly Amendment 19) addresses the recreational sale
of mackerel, elimination of inactive commercial king mackerel permits, and
income requirements. Amendment 20B (formerly Amendment 20) addresses commercial
trip limits, seasons, transit, and the annual catch limit for cobia. To learn
more about these amendments visit this link for videos, amendment guides, and
public comments.
Definition of
For-Hire Fishing
The Council will review a draft framework action that
considers clearly defining for-hire (charter/headboat) fishing trips. This
framework aims to enhance enforcement of permit requirements by eliminating the
ability of private vessels to exchange fees, goods, or service in exchange for
for-hire fishing activities.  
Photo: Scott Hickman

Recreational Red
Snapper Regional Management

The Council expects to take final action on Amendment 39,
which considers dividing the federal recreational red snapper quota among
different regions in the Gulf. This will give each region 
more flexibility to
choose fishing regulations that best suit local needs. If you’re interested in learning
more about regional management you can read this guide or watch this video.

Sector Separation
After tabling discussions a year ago, the Council will
resume consideration of sub-dividing the recreational allocations into private,
for-hire, and possibly headboat sectors. For more information on allocation and
sector separation read this Gulf Currents Blog.
For-Hire Permit
Conditions
Photo: Emily Muehlstein
Vessels with federal for-hire reef fish permits must comply
with the more restrictive of state or federal reef fish regulations when
fishing in state waters. The Council is considering revising this requirement
to allow federally permitted for-hire vessels to fish during state seasons when
state regulations are inconsistent with federal regulations.
As always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to
contact us