Gulf Council Meeting In Texas

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will meet April 16 - 19, 2012, at the Omni Bayfront Hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Council Committees will begin meeting Monday at 1:00 p.m. and will meet through noon Thursday. The full Council will convene at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, and is expected to adjourn by 3:00 p.m. Thursday. Agenda highlights are summarized below.

For a copy of the detailed agenda or to review briefing book materials, please visit the Council web site at or call 888-833-1844.

Committee meetings Monday include the SSC Selection Committee, Budget/Personnel Committee, Outreach and Education, and the Artificial Reef Committee.
The Reef Fish Management Committee will meet all day Tuesday to review and discuss the following:

  • Update of the Red Snapper 5-Year IFQ Review
  • Scoping Documents for Amendment 28 - Grouper Allocation, and Amendment 33 - Limited Access Privilege Program
  • Final Action on Amendment 35 - Greater Amberjack
  • Scoping Document for Red Snapper Provisions for Overage Adjustments
  • Interim Rule on Gray Triggerfish Annual Catch Limit & In-Season Closure Authority
  • Draft Options Paper for Amendment 37 - Gray Triggerfish Management Measures
  • Framework Action on Contractual Services for the For-Hire Sector
  • Sector Separation
  • Options Paper for Amendment 38 - Revise Post-Season Recreational Accountability Measures for Shallow-water Grouper
  • Summary of the Goliath Grouper Workgroup Meeting
  • Pilot Studies Design for Headboat IFQ and Days at Sea

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 Coral Management Committee will convene Wednesday morning to review a report from the Special Coral Scientific & Statistical Committee, followed by the Data Collection Committee, who will review the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) Calibration Workshops summary and discuss a Generic Amendment for Dealer Permit/Electronic Logbook Reporting Requirements. The Committee will also receive an update on Electronic Reporting for both the head boats and charter boats.

Later in the morning, the Mackerel Management Committee meets to review Options Papers for Amendments 19 and 20 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan. Amendment 19 considers establishing a federal commercial cobia permit, and stopping or limiting the sale of fish caught under a bag limit. Amendment 20 considers whether the current zone boundaries, allocations, seasons, and trip limits provide the greatest benefit to the commercial industry

The full Council will convene Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. Beginning at 1:45 p.m. the Council will take public comment on Reef Fish Amendment 35 - Greater Amberjack; an Interim Rule for Gray Triggerfish Annual Catch Limit and In-Season Closure Authority; and 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 5:30 p.m. Comment cards must be completed before the start of public testimony.

Beginning Thursday at 8:30 a.m., the Council will deliberate and take action on committee recommendations made earlier in the week. The meeting is expected to conclude by 3:00 p.m.