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

ADVISORY PANELS (AP) AND SCIENTIFIC AND STATISTICAL COMMITTEES (SSC) TO REVIEW AMENDMENTS

Tampa, Florida - May 26, 1999 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene its Mackerel Advisory Panel (AP) and Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) to review "Draft Amendment 12 to the Fishery Management Plan for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic, Including Environmental Assessment, Regulatory Impact Review, and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis." Draft Amendment 12 contains provisions for extending the commercial king mackerel permit moratorium from its current expiration date of October 15, 2000 by three or five years in order to provide time for the Gulf and South Atlantic Councils to develop and implement a controlled access system for the king mackerel fishery. The Mackerel AP will be convened at 1:00 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, June 21, 1999 and will conclude by 2:00 p.m. The SSC meeting will be convened at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) on Tuesday, June 22, 1999 and will conclude by 12:00 noon.

The Reef Fish Advisory Panel will be convened to review "Draft Amendment 17 to the Fishery Management Plan for Reef Fish Resources, Including Environmental Assessment and Regulatory Impact Review." Draft Amendment 17 contains provisions for extending the commercial reef fish permit moratorium from its current expiration date of December 31, 2000 by three, four or five years in order to provide time for the Gulf Council to develop and implement a controlled access system for the reef fish fishery. The Reef Fish Advisory Panel will be convened at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) on Monday, June 21, 1999 and will conclude by 2:00 p.m. The SSC will also review this amendment during their conference call on Tuesday, June 22, 1999.

These meetings will be convened via conference call with the meeting times expressed as Eastern Daylight Savings Time (EDT). A listening phone will be located at each of the following locations: National Marine Fisheries Service Pascagoula Laboratory, 3209 Fredrick Street, Pascagoula, Mississippi; telephone 228-762-4591; and 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 AP and/or SSC sessions will be allowed to testify on the moratorium issue, when recognized by the meeting chairman. A copy of the agenda and review material can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815.

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

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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