FWC Launches Lionfish Control Month

The lionfish have invaded, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants the public to join its Lionfish Control Team for the month of April. 


Red Snapper Assessment Begins


The SEDAR 31 assessment of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery will consist of a series of workshops and supplemental webinars. This notice is for two webinars in the Assessment Workshop portion of the SEDAR process.

The SEDAR 31 Assessment Workshop Webinars 7 and 8 will be held on April 11 and 18, 2013, respectively. The webinars will begin at 1 p.m. and conclude no later than 5 p.m. EDT.


NOAA Fisheries Reminds Fishermen about Recreational Red Snapper Federal Fishing Regulations

Under federal law, state waters off Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama extend from the coastline out to three nautical miles, and state waters off Texas and the Gulf of Mexico side of Florida extend from the coastline out to nine nautical miles.

Fishermen are reminded that federal waters are closed to recreational red snapper fishing until June 1, 2013. Therefore, the recreational harvest and possession of red snapper in federal waters off all Gulf of Mexico states is prohibited until June 1, 2013. Beginning June 1, 2013, federal waters throughout the Gulf of Mexico will open, with a 2-fish bag limit with a minimum size of 16 inches fork length.


Recreational Fishing for Red Snapper in the Gulf of Mexico

NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Administrator, Dr. Roy Crabtree is hosting a teleconference about the 2013 recreational red snapper fishing season to discuss how we arrived where we are today, short-term and long-term management options and hear from you as to how we can work together moving forward.

 When: Thursday, April 4 from 11am-1pm EST


Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Names New Executive Director

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council announces the selection of Doug Gregory as its new Executive Director. Gregory will take the helm May 20, 2013.  He replaces Dr. Stephen Bortone, who is retiring in May.

"The Gulf Council has many important issues on its agenda, and I look forward to working with Doug as our new Executive Director," said Doug Boyd, Chairman of the Gulf Council.

Standing, Special Mackerel, and Ecosystem Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC) Meeting

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to Convene a Meeting of its Standing, Special Mackerel, and Ecosystem Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC)

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council's Standing, Special Mackerel, and Ecosystem Scientific and Statistical Committees will meet March 27 and 28, 2013, at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay Hotel, 2900 Bayport Drive in Tampa, Florida. The meeting will begin at 8:30am Wednesday and will adjourn no later than 5:00pm Thursday.

For-Hire Red Snapper Days-at-Sea Pilot Program

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Schedules Scoping Workshops to Discuss For-Hire Red Snapper Days-at-Sea Pilot Program

The Gulf Council has scheduled scoping workshops around the Gulf of Mexico to get public input on a proposed amendment that examines a days-at-sea pilot program for the red snapper for-hire fishery. Scoping workshops are the first and best opportunity for you to make suggestions or raise issues and concerns before the Council begins developing an amendment.

Explosive Removal Permit Issued by NMFS

Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to the Explosive Removal of Offshore Structures in the Gulf of Mexico

In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued one-year LOAs to take marine mammals incidental to the explosive removal of offshore oil and gas structures (EROS) in the Gulf of Mexico.

Witness in Oil Spill Trial Accuses BP of Negligence

The practices of the oil giant BP came under sharp attack this week in a courtroom by an expert witness who said its negligence caused the 2010 explosion aboard a Gulf of Mexico drilling rig that killed 11 workers and spewed millions of barrels of oil.

A full day of testimony in the third day of a trial against BP was dominated by the witness, Alan R. Huffman, a petroleum geophysicist who was testifying for the government and private plaintiffs. Mr. Huffman accused BP of submitting misleading and selective data to federal regulators while drilling the Macondo well and of playing “fast and loose” with a safety test intended to measure the offshore well’s stability.

Everglades National Park Draft Environmental Impact Statement for General Management Plan

The National Park Service (NPS) announces the availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the General Management Plan (GMP) and East Everglades Wilderness Study (EEWS) for Everglades National Park (park). After it is finalized, the GMP/EEWS will guide the management of the park over the next 20+ years.

The last comprehensive planning effort for the Park was completed in 1979. Patterns and types of visitor use have changed, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan was approved, and in 1989 the East Everglades Addition of approximately 109,600 acres was added to the park to protect and restore the Northeast Shark River Slough. Recent studies have enhanced the understanding of resources, resource threats, and visitor use in the Park. The GMP will provide updated management direction for the entire park. The EEWS provides a forum for evaluating lands within the East Everglades Addition for possible recommendation to Congress for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System.

DATES: The NPS will accept comments from the public on the DEIS for 60 days from the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. The date, time, and location of public meetings will be announced through the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) Web site http://parkplanning.nps.gov, the Everglades National Park Web site, and in media outlets in winter 2013.