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

NOAA logoNEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY
CONTACT: RICHARD L. LEARD
(813) 228-2815

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

Tampa, Florida - April 6, 2000 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene its Mackerel Advisory Panel (AP) and the Standing and Special Mackerel Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC) to review assessment information on mackerel stocks and provide recommendations to the Council on possible changes to federal rules affecting mackerels. The Mackerel AP will be convened at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 2, 2000 and will conclude by 3:00 p.m. The Council’s Standing and Special Mackerel SSC meeting will be convened at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 3, 2000 will conclude by 5:00 p.m. The meetings will be held at the Tampa Airport Hilton Hotel, 2225 Lois Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33607.

The Mackerel AP and SSC will review the 2000 stock assessment analyses for Gulf group king 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 Gulf group king mackerel. Based on this review, the Mackerel AP and 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 2000-2001 fishing season. The Mackerel AP and SSC will also review a reporting form that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) will be using to collect information on finfish discarded from the commercial catch, and may provide comments to the Council on the form.

At the conclusion of the Mackerel SSC meeting, the Standing SSC members will review the NMFS’ bycatch reduction device (BRD) testing protocol and may provide comments to the Council. Also, the Standing SSC will discuss NMFS’ response to the SSC’s previous question regarding historical red grouper landings.

Copies of the agendas of these meetings and other related materials can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815. Although other non-emergency issues not on the agendas may come before the AP and SSC 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 of the AP and SSC will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agendas 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 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 24, 2000.

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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