Written by Linc Bedrosian
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is currently recruiting applicants for its advisory panels (APs), and scientific and statistical committees (SSCs).
Advisory panel members provide information and guidance to the council on the development of federal fishery management plans. The council has 22 advisory panels composed of individuals who are engaged in the harvest of federally managed species or who are knowledgeable and interested in the conservation and management of the fishery. Members include recreational and commercial fishermen, seafood dealers and processors, non- governmental organizations, scientists, and concerned citizens.
Letters of interest are now being accepted for the following advisory panels: Coastal Migratory Pelagics; Coral; Data Collection; Florida/Alabama Habitat Protection; Mississippi/Louisiana Habitat Protection; Texas Habitat Protection; Outreach and Education; Red Drum; Red Snapper; Reef Fish; Southeast Data, Assessment and Review NGO; Shrimp; Spiny Lobster.
The council is also recruiting for its scientific and statistical committees. SSCs are comprised of economists, biologists, sociologists, and natural resource attorneys who are knowledgeable about the technical aspects of fisheries in the gulf.
The following SSCs exist: Standing SSC; Socioeconomic SSC; Special Coral; Special Mackerel; Special Red Drum; Special Reef Fish; Special Shrimp; Special Spiny Lobster; and Ecosystems Management.
Finally, the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review Workshop Pool is also open for recruitment. Scientists are selected from the SEDAR Workshop Pool to participate in the stock assessment or assessment review meetings, but individual scientists do not attend each meeting.
Appointments are for two years and will be made during the April 15-18, 2013 council meeting in Gulfport, Miss. Membership provides individuals with an opportunity to become more directly involved in the management decision-making process.
Anyone interested in serving should submit a letter of interest to the council office indicating the committee and/or panel of interest. Please include a current resumé or description of qualifications. Applicants may apply to more than one panel or committee. However, appointments are limited to a maximum of two standing advisory panels. Membership on ad hoc panels is unlimited.
Positions are unpaid, but travel expenses are reimbursed. Depending upon the level of activity for a given fishery management plan, each panel or committee may meet from zero to three or four times per year, except for the standing SSC, which may meet four or more times per year. (The standing SSC meets for all SSC meetings, while the species SSCs meet jointly with the standing SSC for issues specific to the species SSC.)
Letters of interest should be mailed to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 2203 N. Lois Ave., Tampa, FL 33607; faxed to (813) 348-1711; or e-mailed to AP-SSC.Applicant@gulfcouncil.org by April 8, 2013.
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Louisiana crab fishermen and their catch are feeling the pressure of a downturn in the state economy, and a resulting upturn of people entering the fishery.
“It’s a crazy business right now,” said Pete Gerica, the New Orleans fisherman who now serves as president or the Louisiana Crab Task Force, a legislatively-created board of industry voices that makes recommendations to state government.