For Immediate Release
May 15, 2020
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council held an interim meeting via webinar on May 12, 2020. The Council discussed allowances for remote participation in Council meetings and potential impacts that COVID-19 has had on our fisheries. The following is a brief summary of actions taken:
Council Meeting Standard Operating Procedures
The Council decided to modify the Councils Statement of Organization Practices and Procedures to allow Council members the opportunity to present motions and vote remotely when meetings are held in-person with approval from the Council Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Executive Director. The Council discussed the importance of hosting in-person meetings to ensure public participation and decided to have further discussion about modifying guidance for meeting participation at its June Council meeting.
COVID-19 Related Issues for the June 2020 Council Meeting
The Council discussed how to address the impacts of Covid-19 on our fisheries at its June meeting. This includes:
- Reviewing recent landings and effort compared to previous years.
- Considering extending or re-opening recreational seasons including the federal for-hire red snapper season.
- Considering modifications to the commercial trip limits if fishing is compressed in the latter part of the year.
- Discussing carryover of uncaught quota in the commercial individual fishing quota program.
- Update on the Southeast For-hire Electronic Reporting (SEFHIER) Program timing for-hire reporting requirements.
The Council plans to these items at its June meeting. The June Council meeting agenda can be found here.