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

NOAA logoNEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY
CONTACT: PETER HOOD

DEEP-WATER CRAB ADVISORY PANEL (AP) TO REVIEW A PRELIMINARY ISSUES AND OPTIONS PAPER IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A DEEP-WATER CRAB FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLAN

Tampa, Florida - December 14, 2001 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene its Deep-water Crab Advisory Panel (AP) to review a preliminary issues and options paper for the development of a Deep-water Crab Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The Deep-water Crab AP will be convened at 9:00 a.m. EST on Thursday, January 9, 2002 and will conclude by 5:00 p.m. The meetings will be held at the National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Fisheries Science Center, 75 Virginia Beach Drive in Miami, Florida.

The species that would be managed under the Deep-water Crab FMP will be the golden crab (Chaceon fenneri) and red crab (Chaceon quinquedens). The preliminary issues and options paper for the development of a Deep-water Crab FMP examines fisheries issues including management needs, gear requirements and restrictions, crab size and sex limitations for harvest, and requirements for fishery participants. Based on its review, the Deep-water Crab AP may recommend to the Council management criteria that will benefit the fishery while preserving the resource under the provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA). The Council will consider these recommendations at its January meeting to be held in Brownsville, Texas from January 21-24, 2002.

Copies of the agendas of this meeting and other related materials can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815. Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before the AP for discussion, in accordance with the MSFCMA, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Actions of the 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 MSFCMA, 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 January 2, 2002.

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.

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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