Gulf Council to Hold Public Hearings


shrimp boat

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a series of public hearings around the Gulf of Mexico to discuss and take comment on proposed Shrimp Amendment 17A.

Shrimp Amendment 17A contains two actions. The first action addresses the expiration of the federal shrimp permit moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico. There is currently a moratorium on federal commercial shrimp permits, meaning no new permits are being issued. The shrimp permit moratorium is scheduled to expire October 26, 2016. The Council is considering whether to allow the moratorium to expire, extend the moratorium, or create a limited access permit.

The Council established the shrimp permit moratorium to ensure that the fishery would remain profitable for the participants remaining in the fishery. When the moratorium was put into place there were 1,933 shrimp permits issued. Since then, 463 shrimp permits were not renewed within one year of their expiration or have been surrendered, and have been removed from the fishery. As of December 31, 2014, there were 1,470 shrimp permits remaining.

The Council’s current preferred alternative is to extend the shrimp permit moratorium for another ten years.

The second action addresses the royal red shrimp endorsement that is required to commercially harvest royal red shrimp from the Gulf Exclusive Economic Zone. Established in 2006, the main purpose of the endorsement was to help inform data collectors about who is targeting royal red shrimp. Currently, there are a large number of endorsements but only a small number of active royal red shrimping vessels. It’s unclear if the endorsement accomplishes its desired goal of enhancing data collection, so the Council is considering whether to continue to require a royal red shrimp endorsement to harvest royal red shrimp.

The public hearing schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Webinar, 5 – 8 PM (CST)
Register Here!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Hampton Inn & Suites
4350 Executive Circle
Fort Myers, Florida

Thursday, January 7, 2016
Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore Hotel
2225 North Lois Avenue
Tampa, Florida

Monday, January 11, 2016
Port of Palacios
1602 Main Street
Palacios, Texas

Monday January 11, 2016
IP Casino and Resort
850 Bayview Avenue
Biloxi, Mississippi

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Courtyard by Marriott
3955 North Expressway
Brownsville, Texas

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Holiday Inn Mobile
5465 Highway 90 West
Mobile, Alabama

Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Courtyard by Marriott
142 Library Drive
Houma, Louisiana

Thursday, January 14, 2016
Holiday Inn New Orleans Westbank
275 Whitney Avenue
Gretna, Louisiana

All meetings begin at 6:00 pm local time and end no later than 9:00 pm local time. The Webinar begins at 6:00 pm Eastern Time, and will end no later than 9:00 pm.

Public Hearing Guides are posted on the Council website at: df.

Public comments can be posted online at: 017%20-%20Permit%20Moratorium.php.

Additional information can be found on our Scoping through Implementation Page: