Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council sets meeting

TXI5840Grouper, oil rigs and vermilion snapper will be topics of discussion next month when the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council convenes its Reef Fish Advisory Panel August 6 and 7. 

The Advisory Panel will review several amendments under development, which include:

• Generic Amendment for Dealer Permits & Electronic Reporting
• Reef Fish Amendment 28 to modify post-season accountability measures for shallow-water grouper and revise the framework procedure for establishing regulatory actions
• Reef Fish Amendment 37 to revise the gray triggerfish rebuilding plan
• Framework action to provide a recreational split season for gag in 2013 and to modify or eliminate February — March fixed closed season for recreational shallow-water grouper
• Scoping document for a possible amendment to designate petroleum platforms and artificial reefs as essential fish habitat

The Panel will also reconsider its previous recommendations on vermilion snapper annual catch limits in light of revised analysis and new acceptable biological catch recommendations from the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee.

Finally, the Advisory Panel will review updated information on fish venting and recompression, and may consider recommendations for changes to the regulations that require possession and use of venting tools when fishing for reef fish.

The meeting will be held in Tampa, Fla.

A copy of the agenda and related materials can be obtained by calling (813) 348-1630. Documents can also be downloaded from the Council’s FTP site –