This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA97FC0010.

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RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY
CONTACT: RICHARD L. LEARD

MACKEREL ADVISORY PANEL (AP) AND SCIENTIFIC AND STATISTICAL COMMITTEES (SSC) TO REVIEW INFORMATION RELATED TO FEDERAL RULES FOR MACKEREL

Tampa, Florida - April 2, 1999 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene its Mackerel Advisory Panel (AP) and Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC) to review stock assessment reports and advise the Council on possible changes to federal rules affecting mackerels. The Mackerel AP will be convened at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, April 26, 1999 and will conclude by 3:30 p.m. The Council’s Standing and Special Mackerel SSC meeting will be convened at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 27, 1999 and will conclude at 12:00 noon. The Standing SSC will reconvene at 1:00 p.m. and finish its business by 3:30 p.m. The meetings will be held at the Tampa Airport Hilton Hotel, 2225 Lois Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33607.

The SSC will review the 1999 stock assessment updates for both king and Spanish Mackerel, the Mackerel Stock Assessment Panel (MSAP) report, and the report of the Socioeconomic Panel (SEP) that includes economic and social information related to the range of acceptable biological catch (ABC) and other management considerations for mackerels in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic. Based on this review, the SSC may recommend to the Council levels for total allowable catch (TAC), bag limits, size limits, commercial quotas, and other measures for these species for the 1999-2000 fishing season. The Mackerel AP will review the same information and formulate their recommendations based on their perspectives as users of these resources. The Standing SSC will review a recently completed report of a bycatch reduction device (BRD) evaluation study that was developed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The SSC may make recommendations regarding the scientific validity of this study and/or future evaluation efforts.

Copies of the agendas can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815. Although other issues not on the agenda may come before the SSC and Mackerel AP for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Actions will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agendas listed as available by this notice.

The meetings are open to the public and physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office by April 19, 1999.

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 Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

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