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

NOAA logoNEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY
CONTACT: WAYNE E. SWINGLE

COUNCIL TO HOLD EMERGENCY MEETING ON RELEASE OF RED SNAPPER ALLOWABLE CATCH

Tampa, Florida - August 12, 1998 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a public meeting via conference call on Thursday, August 27, 1998 beginning at 2:00 p.m. eastern standard time (EST)to review scientific findings regarding a change in definitions of maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and rebuilding schedule for red snapper. The Council will consider these potential changes and information from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on the performance level of bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) to determine if they should request emergency action by the Secretary of Commerce to release the reserve total allowable catch (TAC) to avoid severe adverse economic and social impacts.

A Finfish Stock Assessment Panel (FSAP) meeting at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, Mississippi August 24-27, 1998 will develop appropriate definitions of MSY and a rebuilding schedule for the red snapper stock under the terms of the National Standard Guidelines. NMFS currently has an ongoing observer program that is collecting data on the effectiveness of BRDs being used in trawls in shrimp vessels in reducing the number of juvenile red snapper taken in trawls. That data will be summarized for the Council meeting.

A listening phone will be located at each of the following locations: National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Regional Office, 9721 Executive Center Drive North, Suite 201, St. Petersburg, Florida; telephone 813-570-5305; National Marine Fisheries Service Panama City Laboratory, 3500 Delwood Beach Road, Panama City, Florida; telephone 850-234-6541; National Marine Fisheries Service Miami Laboratory, Room 200, 75 Virginia Beach Drive, Miami, Florida; telephone 305-361-4259; National Marine Fisheries Service Pascagoula Laboratory, 3209 Fredrick Street, Pascagoula, Mississippi; telephone 228-762-4591; National Marine Fisheries Service Galveston Laboratory, 4700 Avenue U, Galveston, Texas; telephone 409-766-3500.

Persons who visit one of NMFS’ laboratories to listen to the Council session will be allowed to testify to the Council on this issue, consistent with the Council’s policy on public testimony. A copy of the agenda and review material can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815.

Although other issues not on the agenda may come before the Council for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, those issues may not be the subject of formal Council action during this meeting. Council 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 20, 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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