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

REEF FISH ADVISORY PANEL AND STANDING AND SPECIAL REEF FISH SCIENTIFIC AND STATISTICAL COMMITTEE TO REVIEW STOCK ASSESSMENTS ON GAG, VERMILION SNAPPER, AND GRAY TRIGGERFISH

Tampa, Florida - December 14, 2001 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a meeting of the Reef Fish Advisory Panel (AP), to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, January 7, 2002 and conclude by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 9, 2002. The Council will also convene a meeting of the Standing and Special Reef Fish Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 10, 2002 and conclude by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 11, 2002. Both meetings will be held at the Tampa Airport Westshore Hilton, 2225 Lois Avenue, Tampa, Florida.

The AP and the SSC will review a report from the Councilís Reef Fish Stock Assessment Panel (RFSAP) summarizing recent NMFS stock assessments, recommendations for allowable biological catch (ABC) and thresholds for status determination for gag, vermilion snapper, and gray triggerfish. They will also review a report from the Councilís Socioeconomic Panel (SEP) summarizing the available economic and social information and implications of setting recommended ABC levels for those stocks. The SSC will comment on the scientific validity of these reports, and both the SSC and AP may make recommendations for setting total allowable catch (TAC) or other management measures for these stocks.

Copies of the agendas, RFSAP report, and SEP report can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815 (or toll-free 888-833-1844). Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before the Reef Fish AP or 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 SSC and AP 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. These meetings are open to the public and are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office by December 31, 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.

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 at 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.

X X X