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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RELEASE: AS APPROPRIATE
CONTACT: WAYNE E. SWINGLE

AD HOC RED SNAPPER ADVISORY PANEL TO MEET TO DISCUSS ISSUES RELATED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN INDIVIDUAL FISHING QUOTA (IFQ) PROFILE FOR THE RED SNAPPER FISHERY

Tampa, Florida - April 26, 2002 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene its Ad Hoc Red Snapper Advisory Panel (AP) to discuss the issues related to and continue the development of an IFQ profile for the commercial red snapper fishery. The profile will examine the benefits and consequences of using IFQs to manage the commercial red snapper fishery. When the profile is completed by the AP and Council, it will be submitted to the current participants in the fishery for a referendum to determine if the majority of the participants favor management by IFQs.

The AP will be convened at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, May 20, 2002 and will conclude by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, 2002. The meeting will be held at the Tampa Airport Hilton Hotel, 2225 Lois Avenue, Tampa. Florida.

The AP members consist of commercial fishermen holding Class 1 or Class 2 commercial red snapper licenses, and licensed commercial reef fish dealers. They are assisted by 4 non-voting members with expertise in fishery economics, fishery biology, environmental science, and law enforcement. The completion of the profile will require several subsequent meetings of this AP.

Copies of the agenda of this meeting can be obtained by calling the Council office at 813-228-2815 (toll-free 888-833-1844). Although other non-emergency issues not on the agendas may come before the AP 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 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 are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office by May 13, 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 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.

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