This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA17FC2203.

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CONTACT: ANTONIO LAMBERTE

FISHERY COUNCIL TO CONVENE SOCIOECONOMIC PANEL

Tampa, Florida - January 14, 2002 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene its Socioeconomic Panel (SEP) to review a regulatory amendment on rebuilding the red grouper stock and to review a study of the charter and party boat fishing industry of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. The SEP will also discuss bioeconomic modeling as an approach to future economic assessments.

The SEP meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 7, 2002 and conclude at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 8, 2002. 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 Reef Fish Advisory Panel and Standing and Special Reef Fish Scientific and Statistical Committee at meetings to be held on the week of February 25th, 2002. Also, the SEP report will be presented to the Council at its meeting on the week of March 11th, 2002 in Mobile, Alabama.

Composing the SEP membership are economists, sociologists, and anthropologists from various universities and state fishery agencies throughout the Gulf and the National Marine Fisheries Service. 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 January 31, 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, 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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