The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will meet August 22-25, 2022, at the Omni Hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas. During this meeting, the Council plans to take final action on a Framework Action that considers modifying red snapper catch limits. Additionally, Mr. Sam Rauch will present the Council with NMFS’ Agency Priorities and remarks on its Draft Equity and Environmental Strategy.

Public testimony will be held on Wednesday, August 24, 2022, from 1:30 to 5:00 PM CDT. Both in-person and virtual attendees will be able to comment. In-person attendees should register to give comment at the kiosk located at the meeting room entrance. To provide virtual public testimony, you must register online and join the webinar.  A registration link to provide testimony will be available on the Council meeting materials webpage beginning at 8:00 AM, CDT, on

Wednesday, August 24, 2022.  Registration to provide virtual testimony will close one hour before public testimony begins (12:30 PM, CDT).  Virtual participants must register for the webinar under the same name they use to register to provide testimony.

 

Additionally, The Council will host a special Question and Answer Session with NOAA’s Division of Highly Migratory Species on Tuesday, August 23, 2022, immediately following Reef Fish Committee. In-person attendees can join us in the meeting room and online participants can listen through the GoToWebinar application or by phone.  If you want to speak to ask a question, you must join the webinar online. To listen in by phone, call: 1-914-614-3221 / Audio Access Code:  763-745-623. Alternatively, during the meeting, you can email questions to gulfcouncil@gulfcouncil.org or text them to (813) 317-6220 and a staff member will ask on your behalf.

 

The following is a brief description of some of the issues that the Council plans to work on:

 

Red Snapper Catch Limits

The Council plans to take final action on a framework action to update red snapper catch limits.  These recommendations are based on new catch advice generated using updated estimates of absolute abundance of red snapper derived from the Great Red Snapper Count (Flori

da, Ala

bama, Mississippi, and Texas) and by LGL Ecological Associates, Inc. (Louisiana).  The Council’s preferred alternative would modify red snapper catch limits based on the recommendations of its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) to decrease the overfishing limit and increase the annual catch limit.

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Greater Amberjack

The most recent greater amberjack stock assessment (SEDAR 70 2020) determined that greater amberjack is both overfished and experiencing overfishing.  Additionally, new recreational catch estimates collected using the Marine Recreational Information Programs (MRIP) Fishing Effort Survey (FES) indicated that recreational landings are greater than previously estimated.  The Council is obligated to end overfishing and revise the rebuilding plan for greater amberjack.  During this meeting, the Council will continue to work on Amendment 54 which considers modifying greater amberjack catch levels and allocations.

 

Gag Grouper

The most recent stock assessment (SEDAR 72 2021), which included new recreational catch and effort data and an ecosystem-based red tide analysis, determined that gag grouper is overfished and experiencing overfishing.  Additionally, the assessment identified that the proportion of males in the gag grouper population is less than 2%, which negatively impacts the stock’s ability to reproduce.  The Council is obligated to end overfishing and develop a rebuilding plan for gag grouper, which will dramatically reduce catch limits during the rebuilding period.  During this meeting, the Council will begin work on a rebuilding plan that will consider revising catch limits, sector allocations, accountability measures, and other management measures.

 

 

 

 

Commercial Electronic Reporting

The Council plans to begin work on a joint amendment with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council that considers requiring commercial reef fish and coastal migratory pelagic permit holders to submit logbooks electronically, rather than mailing paper logbooks.

 

Modificationsto For-Hire Trip Declaration Requirements

The Council will continue to work on a Framework Action to modify for-hire trip declaration requirements.  This document aims to reduce the burden on federally permitted for-hire vessels making multiple trip declarations (hail-outs) when moving for non-fishing trips.