There will be lots on the agenda when the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meets August 26-29, at the Hilton Palacio del Rio, 200 South Alamo Street in San Antonio. Council Committees will convene Monday morning beginning at 11 a.m.
The full Council will convene Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. and is expected to adjourn by 4 p.m. Thursday. Agenda highlights are summarized below.
Committee meetings will open Monday with a summary report to the Sustainable Fisheries/Ecosystem Management Committee about the South Florida Management workshops being held this week. The Red Drum Management Committee will then receive an update on Gulf of Mexico red drum data collection. The Mackerel Management Committee will then meet to:
- Review SEDAR 28 Gulf of Mexico Spanish Mackerel Stock Assessment;
- Review public hearing comments and actions for Amendments 19 & 20 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan;
- Discuss schedule for Amendment 22 – Recreational and Commercial Allocation of King Mackerel.
The Ad Hoc Restoration Committee is also meeting to receive:
- An update on the development plan for RESTORE’s Marine Science Fund;
- A summary of NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program Public Engagement Session.
The Administrative Policy Committee will discuss the Administrative Handbook and SOPPs, and the day will end with a closed session of the Advisory Panel Selection Committee, which is meeting to review applicants and appoint members to the Ad Hoc Red Snapper Individual Fishing Quota Advisory Panel.
Beginning Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. the Reef Fish Management Committee will meet to review and discuss:
- Summary report from the August 2013 Reef Fish SSC Meeting;
- Spawning Potential Ratio Target Options;
- Final Action on Individual Fishing Quotas Administrative Rule Changes;
- Amendment 28 – Red Snapper Allocation Options Paper;
- Passengers on Dual-permitted Commercial Fishing Vessels;
- Update on Red Snapper Recreational Landings and Supplemental Fall Season;
- 2014 Red Snapper Update Assessment and possible management actions;
- Exempted Fishing Permits related to Reef Fish (if any).
Immediately following the Committee recess Tuesday, the Council and NOAA Fisheries will hold an informal question and answer session on general fishery management issues.
The Data Collection Committee will convene Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. to receive a status update on modifications to the Federally-Permitted Seafood Dealer Reporting requirements; and to receive an update on the results of the Peer Reviewed Data Collection Management Programs for the Magnuson-Stevens Managed Stocks.
Finally, the Joint Artificial Reef/Habitat Protection Committees will receive a summary from the May 2013 Coral Workshop in Interrelationships between Corals and Fisheries.
The full Council will convene Wednesday at 10 a.m. A swearing-in ceremony for new Council members will take place before the Council receives a “Budget 101” overview. From 1-4 p.m. the Council will take public comment on the following:
- Final Action on IFQ Administrative Rule Changes
- Mackerel Amendments 19 & 20
- Reef Fish Amendment 39 – Regional Management of Recreational Red Snapper
- Exempted Fishing Permits (if any)
The Council will also hold an open public comment session to give members of the public an opportunity to address the Council on fishery issues that may not be on the agenda. Open public comment will be taken immediately following public testimony until 4 p.m. Anyone wishing to speak must sign up prior to the comment period.
Beginning Thursday at 8:30 am, the Council will deliberate and take action on the committee recommendations made earlier in the week.
For a copy of the detailed agenda, or to watch the meeting live, please visit http://gulfcouncil.org/council_meetings/index.php or call (888) 833-1844. Briefing book materials can be downloaded from the Council FTP site at http://ftp.gulfcouncil.org/?user=anonymous.