This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA17FC1052.

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CONTACT: ANTONIO LAMBERTE

FISHERY COUNCIL TO CONVENE SOCIOECONOMIC PANEL

Tampa, Florida - November 2, 2001 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene its Socioeconomic Panel (SEP) to review available social and economic information on gag, vermilion snapper, and gray triggerfish and to determine the social and economic implications of the levels of acceptable biological catch (ABC) recommended by the Councilís Reef Fish Stock Assessment Panel (RFSAP). The SEP may recommend to the Council total allowable catch (TAC) levels for the 2002 fishing year and certain management measures associated with achieving the TACs. Assessments for mackerel and cobia will also be reviewed by the SEP. In addition, the SEP will review a charterboat/headboat study and hear a presentation on a recently completed study on fishing communities.

The SEP meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 and conclude at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 29, 2001. The meeting will be held at the Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore, 2225 Lois Avenue, Tampa, Florida. A report will be prepared by the SEP containing their conclusions and recommendations. This report will be presented for review to the Councilís Advisory Panel and Standing Scientific and Statistical Committee at meetings to be held on the week of January 7th, 2002. Also, the SEP report will be presented to the Council at its meeting on January 21-24, 2002 in Brownsville, Texas.

Composing the SEP membership are economists, sociologists, and anthropologists from various universities and state fishery agencies throughout the Gulf. They advise the Council on the social and economic implications of certain fishery management measures.

A copy of the agenda can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815. Although other non-emergency issues not on the agendas may come before the SEP 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 SEP 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 meeting is open to the public and is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office by November 21, 2001.

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, as amended. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council prepares fishery management plans that are designed to manage fishery resources to the 200-mile limit in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

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