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: RICHARD L. LEARD

MACKEREL ADVISORY PANEL (AP) AND SCIENTIFIC AND STATISTICAL COMMITTEES (SSC) TO REVIEW INFORMATION RELATED TO FEDERAL RULES FOR MACKEREL AND COBIA

Tampa, Florida - December 17, 2001 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene its Mackerel Advisory Panel (AP) and the Standing and Special Mackerel Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC) to review assessment information on mackerel stocks and provide recommendations to the Council on possible changes to federal rules affecting mackerels. The Councilís Standing and Special Mackerel SSC meeting will be convened at 8:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday, January 9, 2002 will conclude by 3:00 p.m. The Mackerel AP will be convened at 8:30 a.m. EST on Thursday, January 10, 2002 and will conclude by 3:00 p.m. The meetings will be held at the Tampa Airport Hilton Hotel, 2225 Lois Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33607.

The Mackerel AP and SSC will review the 2001 stock assessment analyses for Gulf group king and Spanish mackerel, as well as an assessment of cobia stocks in the Gulf of Mexico. They will also review the Mackerel Stock Assessment Panel (MSAP) reports for mackerels and cobia, and the report of the Socioeconomic Panel (SEP) that includes economic and social information. Based on this review, the Mackerel AP and SSC may recommend to the Council status criteria including maximum sustainable yield (MSY), optimum yield (OY), as well as overfishing and overfished criteria. The Mackerel AP and SSC may also make recommendations for total allowable catch (TAC), bag limits, size limits, commercial quotas, and other measures under the framework procedure of the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan.

Copies of the agendas of these meetings and other related materials can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815. Although other non-emergency issues not on the agendas may come before the AP and 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 AP and SSC 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 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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