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 RESEARCH NEEDS FOR RED DRUM VIA CONFERENCE CALL

Tampa, Florida - July 21, 2000 - The Red Drum Stock Assessment Panel (RDSAP) will be convened via conference call on August 14, 2000 beginning at 10:00 a.m. EST. At the request of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council), the RDSAP was asked to recommend how research needs listed in the RDSAP’s most recent final report be accomplished, including cost estimates and a timeline for completion. Research needs included: 1) the age composition of the adults in offshore waters needs to be known, 2) the absolute abundance of adult red drum in the Gulf of Mexico needs to be accurately measured, 3) random sampling of the commercial and recreational catches for age composition data is needed, 4) standardized stock assessment methodology needs to be developed that can accept area (state)-specific data and work with these within the context of a Gulf-wide stock assessment, 5) the area (state)-specific contributions of red drum to the offshore adult stock needs to be determined, 6) angler-release and shrimp-trawl bycatch mortality and the ages or lengths of caught-and-released fish needs to be determined, and 7) the length composition of the commercial catch needs to be measured.

The recommendations of the RDSAP will be reviewed by the Council at its next meeting held from September 11 to 14, 2000 in Mobile, Alabama.

Currently it is illegal to harvest or possess red drum in federal waters.

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 August 7, 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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