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: STEVEN ATRAN

COUNCIL MEETING DATES CHANGED TO DECEMBER 10-14, 2001 IN ORDER TO TAKE FINAL ACTION ON REEF FISH AMENDMENT 18

Tampa, Florida - August 14, 2001 - At its July meeting, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) elected not to take final action on Reef Fish Amendment 18 primarily because of discrepancies in the data that had been presented at public hearings, a lack of complete comments from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and inadequate/incomplete portions of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS). Additionally, in reviewing the amendment at the July 2001 meeting, the Council added additional alternatives and requested that additional analyses be performed.

On August 9, 2001, The Council staff met with the staffs of NMFS, NOAA General Counsel, and MRAG Americas to discuss the timing of: (1) the availability of biological and economic data for analyzing the impacts of the new management alternatives, (2) completion of the revised documents, (3) filing of the DSEIS with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and (4) the comment period on the DSEIS. The agreed upon dates for these actions are listed below. Because of the time required to complete these activities, the November Council meeting has been rescheduled to December 10-14, 2001 at the Imperial Palace Hotel in Biloxi, Mississippi. Specific times of this meeting will be included in a future press release and Federal Register notice.

Copies of the current draft Reef Fish Amendment 18 and the draft SEIS can be obtained by contacting the Gulf Council office at 813-228-2815 (e-mail gulfcouncil@gulfcouncil.org).

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 U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

This news release, and other Council news releases, can be viewed at the Councilís web site, http://www.gulfcouncil.org. In addition, Council press releases may be received via e-mail by sending a blank e-mail message to pressreleases@gulfcouncil.org with SUBSCRIBE as the subject.

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