General
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meets next
week at the IP Resort Hotel in Biloxi, Mississippi. You’re welcome to join us
or watch a live broadcast of the meeting.
Public comment will be held on Wednesday, October 19 from
2:15 – 5:00 pm. If you can’t testify in person, visit our proposed amendments page to learn about the different issues we’re currently working on and submit
your comments.
The meeting agenda and briefing materials will help you
prepare for the meeting. The following is a quick look at some of the hot
topics the Council will address next week.
Photo: James Burge
Mackerel
The Council plans to take final action of Framework Action 5
which considers eliminating restrictions unique to commercial king and Spanish
mackerel permit holders. Currently, vessels with commercial permits for king or
Spanish mackerel may not retain a recreational bag limit when the applicable
commercial mackerel season is closed. However, dually permitted vessels with
both Federal for-hire pelagic permits and commercial permits can retain a
recreational bag limit if operating as a for-hire vessel. The Council is
considering removing this restriction since this restriction doesn’t occur in
any other fishery.
Click here to submit online comment
The
Council will review a public hearing draft of Coastal Migratory Pelagic
Amendment 29, which considers allocation sharing strategies between recreational
and commercial sectors and associated accountability measures for Gulf
migratory group king mackerel. The Council expects to host public hearings on
this amendment in late fall.
Click here to submit comments
Gray Triggerfish
Photo: Jim Green
The
Council will review the most recent draft of Amendment 46, which considers
modifying the gray triggerfish rebuilding plan.  A recent stock assessment
indicated that the gray triggerfish stock continues to be overfished and the
Council’s scientific advisors revised the acceptable biological catch levels.
Along with determining new catch levels for the stock, the Council will
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 Vessels
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.
Click here to submit comments
 
Photo: Mary Othello Jackson
Reef Fish Management For Headboats 
The
Council will 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. Additionally, the Council will discuss the
criteria participants must meet to vote in the referendum to determine if a proposed
allocation-based program will be accepted.
Click here to submit comments


Modifications to the Commercial Individual Fishing Quota
Programs
The Council will review the latest draft of Amendment 36A
which includes actions for hail-in requirements, inactivated shareholder
accounts, and mid-year quota changes.
Photo: Emily Muehlstein
Data Collection
The
Council is considering modifying the frequency and mechanism of data reporting,
requiring trip notification, and discuss hardware/software requirements and the
potential for location tracking. The Council will hear recommendations from the
Data Collection Technical Committee, Ad Hoc Red Snapper Charter For-Hire
Advisory Panel, Reef Fish Advisory Panel and review a summary of public
comments on the amendment that considers making modifications to Charter Vessel
and Headboat Reporting Requirements.
Click here to view the document
Click here to submit comments