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

NOAA logoNEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY
CONTACT: STEVEN ATRAN

REEF FISH STOCK ASSESSMENT PANEL TO REVIEW BIOLOGICAL INFORMATION ON GAG VIA CONFERENCE CALL

Tampa, Florida - October 1, 1999 - The Reef Fish Stock Assessment Panel (RFSAP) of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will be convened by conference call on Friday, October 22, 1999, at 10:00 a.m. EDT/9:00 a.m. CDT to evaluate new information on gag biology that was presented to the Council during its development of the revised Regulatory Amendment to Set 1999 Gag/Black Grouper Management Measures. This new information includes reports prepared by Dr. Chris Koenig (Florida State University, Dr. Robert Chapman (South Carolina Department of Natural Resources), and other academic and state scientists; plus an evaluation and response to the analyses prepared for Southeastern Fisheries Association by Dr. Trevor Kenchington (Gadus Associates) and other independent scientists retained by Dr. Kenchington. A review of these materials was originally scheduled to be conducted during a September 20-24, 1999 meeting of the RFSAP, but was deferred due to time constraints. The RFSAP is composed of biologists who are trained in the specialized field of population dynamics.

Interested persons may listen to this discussion through speaker phones at the following locations:

National Marine Fisheries Service
Southeast Regional Office
9721 Executive Center Drive, North
St. Petersburg, FL 33702
Contact: Georgia Cranmore - 727-570-5305

National Marine Fisheries Service
Panama City Laboratory
3500 Delwood Beach Road
Panama City, FL 32408
Contact: Herb Kumpf - 850-234-6541

A copy of the agenda for the RFSAP meeting can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815. Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before the RFSAP for discussion, 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 of the RFSAP will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agenda and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council’s intent to take action to address the emergency.

The listening stations for this meeting are open to the public and are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office by October 15, 1999.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional Fishery Management Councils which were established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council prepares fishery management plans which are designed to manage fishery resources in the 200-mile limit in the Gulf of Mexico.

X X X