This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA07FC0015.

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RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY
CONTACT: PETER HOOD

RED DRUM STOCK ASSESSMENT PANEL TO REVIEW BIOLOGICAL INFORMATION ON RED DRUM VIA CONFERENCE CALL

Tampa, Florida - March 27, 2000 -The Red Drum Stock Assessment Panel (RDSAP) will be convened via conference call on April 17, 2000 beginning at 10:00 a.m. EST. The RDSAP will continue their review of a stock assessment on the status of the red drum stocks in the Gulf of Mexico prepared by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The RDSAP will consider available information, including but not limited to, commercial and recreational catches, natural and fishing mortality estimates, recruitment, fishery-dependent and fishery-independent data, and data needs. These analyses will be used to determine the condition of the stocks and the levels of acceptable biological catch (ABC). The RDSAP may also review estimates of stock size (biomass at maximum sustainable yield [Bmsy]) and minimum stock size thresholds (MSST). Currently it is illegal to harvest or possess red drum in federal waters.

The conclusions of the RDSAP will be reviewed by the Council’s Standing and Special Red Drum Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), and Red Drum Advisory Panel (RDAP) at meetings held between May 3-5, 2000.

A listening station will be available at the following location: National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office, 9721 Executive Center Drive, North, St. Petersburg, Florida 33702, Contact: Georgia Cranmore at 727-570-5305.

A copy of the agenda can be obtained by contacting the Council at 813-228-2815.

Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before the RDSAP 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 RDSAP 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 station is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Anne Alford at the Council by April 10, 2000.

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.

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