Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council creates regulations to manage fishery resources in U.S. federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, i.e. from the outer bounds of state waters (3 to 9 miles offshore) out to 200 miles. Many of these regulations directly impact Louisiana’s commercial and recreational fisheries.

LDWF is one of the Gulf Council’s 17 voting members. The other Gulf states are also represented, as well as commercial and recreational fishing industries, scientific and environmental interests, and NOAA Fisheries. There are also nonvoting members from the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of State, and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.

The Gulf Council holds five public meetings a year where they deliberate over regulations to address a wide variety of federal fishery management issues, from shrimp and snapper to habitat and data collection. The Gulf Council often discusses each issue over the span of several meetings and holds public hearings around the Gulf coast to gather public comments before recommending a final regulation to NOAA Fisheries to implement.

Get Involved

The Gulf Council’s decisions are often strongly influenced by the people who actually attend Gulf Council meetings and public hearings. Unfortunately, other states’ interests are often better represented than Louisiana’s. We want you to be more aware of the issues the Gulf Council is considering and to contribute your opinions on these important matters, either in person, if possible, at a meeting or hearing, or through the form below. You can also submit comments directly to the Gulf Council.

Upcoming Meetings

The Gulf Council announces upcoming meetings on their website. Subscribe to their newsletter for news and updates.

The Gulf Council's next meeting is January 29-February 1, 2018 in New Orleans. They will be discussing the following issues of interest to Louisiana’s citizens:

  • Modifications to the sea turtle release protocol and gear for the reef fish fishery (Amendment 49)
  • Draft policy on descending devices and venting tools
  • Reef fish charter for-hire permit transfers and potential management actions
  • State management of recreational red snapper
  • Implementing the Generic For-Hire Electronic Reporting Amendment
  • Allocation-based management for federally permitted charter vessels (Amendment 41)
  • Reef fish management for headboat survey vessels (Amendment 42)
  • Review of exempted fishing permit applications
    • LDWF is applying for an EFP to test a state-based management approach that allows recreational harvest of red snapper in both state and federal waters off Louisiana during seasons set by the state. Landings would be monitored through Louisiana’s existing recreational landings data collection program (LA Creel). LDWF would track fishing at oil and gas platforms, artificial reefs, and natural bottom, and participants would also have the option to test new, voluntary electronic reporting methods. Seasons would be closed when landings approach or reach Louisiana’s quota. Read the draft proposal or review our Frequently Asked Questions for more details.
  • Reef fish enforcement in federal waters.

Stay tuned for more details on these issues.

Send Us Your Comments

We especially encourage your comments on the issues listed above. Please fill out the form below to tell us what your preferences would be for the topic being considered. Please be as specific as possible so that we can understand your concerns. We are asking for your personal interest in the fishery so that we can understand if you are a participant in the fishery, affected directly by it, or have a concern or interest in the topic or issue without direct participation. We request your email address so we can get back to you if we have a follow-up question. We will not use these addresses without your express permission for any purpose other than to contact you for Council-related questions.