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Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings

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National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.


Notice of a public meeting.


The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene its Socioeconomic Panel (SEP).


The meeting will be convene at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 and conclude no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 20, 2008.


The meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites, 555 N. Westshore Blvd., Tampa, FL 33609; telephone: (813) 875-1555.

Council address: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 2203 North Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL 33607.

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Dr. Assane Diagne, Economist, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; telephone: (813) 348-1630.

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The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene its Socioeconomic Panel (SEP) to discuss Reef Fish Amendment 29, the Aquaculture Fishery Management Plan (FMP), draft principles for allocation, and socio-economic aspects of allocation. Reef Fish Amendment 29 proposes to rationalize effort and reduce overcapacity in the commercial grouper and tilefish fisheries in order to achieve and maintain optimum yield (OY). Effort management approaches considered in this amendment include permit endorsements and the implementation of an Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) program. The Aquaculture FMP will require persons to obtain a permit from NMFS to participate in aquaculture by constructing an aquaculture facility in the EEZ of the Gulf of Mexico. Each application for a permit must comply with many permit conditions related to record keeping and operation of the facility. These permit conditions will assure the facility has a minimal affect on the environment and on other fishery resources. Compliance with the conditions will be evaluated annually for the duration of the permit as the basis for renewal of the permit for the next year.

A copy of the agenda and related materials can be obtained by calling the Council office at (813) 348-1630.

Although other non-emergency issues not on the agendas may come before the SEP for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Actions of the SEP will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agendas and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under Section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take action to address the emergency.

Special Accommodations

This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Tina O'Hern at the Council (see ADDRESSES) at least 5 working days prior to the meeting.

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Dated: July 29, 2008.

Tracey L. Thompson,

Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.

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[FR Doc. E8-17642 Filed 7-31-08; 8:45 am]