Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council

April 2022 Council Update

Gulf of Mexico with shrimp boats in far distance

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) met in Gulf Shores, Alabama April 4-7, 2022. The Council made preliminary appointments to its Coral, Data Collection, and Spiny Lobster Advisory Panels. Final appointments will be made during the June Council meeting after fishery violation background checks are completed. The Council also named the…

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Gulf Council Recommends Converting Remaining Historical Captains Permits to Standard Charter/Headboat Permits

Young man on charter boat holding bent rod with fish on line

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council took final action on a Framework Action to convert three Reef Fish and three Coastal Migratory Pelagic Historical Captain permits to standard federal for-hire Charter/Headboat Permits. A previous Council action allowed the replacement of valid or renewable Gulf historical captain coastal migratory pelagics…

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January 2022 Council Update

Gulf of Mexico with shrimp boats in far distance

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council met virtually from January 24-27, 2022. The Council began by electing Dr. Greg Stunz as Vice Chair. The Council also revised and adopted Committee assignments through August 2022. The following is a brief overview of what was accomplished during the meeting: Vermilion Snapper After hearing…

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Gulf Council Recommends Increasing Vermilion Snapper Catch Limits

Fresh vermilion snapper on ice

The Council took final action on a Framework Action to increase the vermilion snapper overfishing limit, acceptable biological catch, and annual catch limit. The most recent stock assessment (SEDAR 67, 2020) determined that the stock is not overfished nor experiencing overfishing. In addition to incorporating new recreational catch and effort…

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Venting Tools or Descending Devices Required for All Fishermen Targeting Reef Fish

photo of red snapper with barotrauma on descending device

The Direct Enhancement of Snapper Conservation and the Economy through Novel Devices Act of 2020 (DESCEND Act of 2020) was signed into law on January 13, 2021. The new Act will require commercial, for-hire, and private recreational vessels to have a venting tool or descending device rigged and ready to…

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October 2021 Council Meeting Summary

gray triggerfish

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) met in Orange Beach, Alabama October 25-28, 2021.  The meeting began with the Council populating its Council Committees through August 2022.  The following is a brief summary of the Council’s actions: Cobia The Council took final action on Coastal Migratory Pelagic Amendment…

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Implementation of the Vessel Monitoring System Reporting Requirements for Federally Permitted Charter and Headboat Vessels Delayed

charter boat deckhand gets fish on line for customer

Key Message: NOAA Fisheries is delaying the implementation of the Gulf of Mexico vessel monitoring system (VMS) requirement for the Southeast For-Hire Integrated Electronic Reporting Program from December 13, 2021, to March 1, 2022. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council requested the VMS requirement with the intention of enhancing…

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NOAA Announces Survey Participation Requirement for GOM Federal For-Hire Permit Holders

Young man on charter boat holding bent rod with fish on line

As part of the Southeast For-Hire Integrated Electronic Reporting (SEFHIER) program, NOAA Fisheries is implementing an independent, dockside intercept survey called the SEFHIER Validation Survey. Vessels with federal for-hire permits for Gulf Reef Fish or Gulf Coastal Migratory Pelagic Fish are required to participate in the SEFHIER Validation Survey. When: Effective…

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Gulf Council Recommends Increasing Red Grouper Catch Limits

red grouper swimming along sea bottom

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council took final action on a Framework Action to increase the red grouper overfishing limit (OFL), acceptable biological catch (ABC), annual catch limits (ACLs) and annual catch targets (ACTs). Increases to catch levels from the Framework Action are contingent on approval and implementation of…

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Gulf Council Recommends New Cobia Catch Limits and Management Measures

Fisherman holding a cobia on boat

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council took final action on Coastal Migratory Pelagic Amendment 32: Modifications to the Gulf of Mexico Migratory Group Cobia Catch Limits, Possession Limits, Size Limits, and Framework Procedure. Cobia is jointly managed with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and all of the selected…

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