This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA87FC0003.

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CONTACT: STEVEN ATRAN

FINFISH STOCK ASSESSMENT PANEL TO REVIEW OVERFISHING CRITERIA AND POTENTIAL ALTERNATIVES

Tampa, Florida - July 30, 1998 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will re-convene its Ad Hoc Finfish Stock Assessment Panel (Panel) to develop additional alternatives for the overfishing criteria as required by the Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA). In a previous meeting held June 22-25, 1998, the Panel developed a generalized procedure for selecting proxies for expressing maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and optimum yield (OY) in terms of spawning potential ratio (SPR). The Panel discussed, but did not come to a consensus on, the use of the ratio of natural mortality rate to growth rate coefficients (the M/K ratio) as a scaling factor for setting appropriate levels of SPR. When it re-convenes, the Panel will re-examine the use of M/K ratios as a basis for resiliency of fish to overfishing. In addition, the Panel will examine additional alternatives for MSY proxies for red snapper, king mackerel, and red drum based on juvenile fish recruitment, stock biomass levels, or other relevant indices.

The meeting of the Panel will be held at the Gulf Coast Reserach Laboratory, 703 East Beach Drive, Ocean Springs, Mississippi beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, August 24, 1998 and will conclude by 12:00 noon on Thursday, August 27, 1998.

Copies of the agenda can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815. Although other issues not on the agenda may come before the Pa

nel for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, those issues may not be the subject of formal Panel action during this meeting. Panel action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agenda listed as available by this notice.

The meeting is open to the public and is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office by August 17, 1998.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is 1 of 8 regional fishery management councils that were established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council prepares fishery management plans that are designed to manage fishery resources in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

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