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: IMMEDIATELY
CONTACT: ANTONIO LAMBERTE

FISHERY COUNCIL TO CONVENE A STAKEHOLDERS WORKSHOP ON BIOECONOMIC MODELING

Tampa, Florida - April 26, 2002 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a stakeholders workshop on bioeconomic modeling for addressing the economic impacts of regulations proposed for red grouper under Secretarial Amendment 1 to the Reef Fish Fishery Management Plan. A bioeconomic modeling group composed of some members of the Socioeconomic Panel (SEP), a member of the Reef Fish Stock Assessment Panel, and NMFS economists will lead the workshop. The modeling group will be assisted by NMFS stock assessment experts on the biological portion of the model. Dr. Walter Keithly, a SEP member, will act as the moderator for the workshop.

The SEP workshop will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 and conclude at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 24, 2002. The meeting will be held at the Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore, 2225 Lois Avenue, Tampa, Florida. A copy of the agenda can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815.

The main goal of the workshop is to adapt a bioeconomic model developed by Dr. Lee Anderson to the red grouper fishery in the Gulf. The public is strongly encouraged to attend and assist the modeling group in assessing the reasonableness of various parameters that would be used in the bioeconomic model. It should be understood by the attending public that while their active participation in the discussion is encouraged, the workshop is not a public hearing on the red grouper Secretarial amendment.

Upon successful adaptation of Dr. Andersonís bioeconomic model to the Gulf red grouper fishery, the SEP will employ the model to address the economic implications of various measures proposed for the red grouper Secretarial amendment. The SEP will meet on June 12-14, 2002 to evaluate the results of the model and prepare a report for review by the Reef Fish Advisory Panel and the Standing Scientific and Statistical Committee. The SEP report and its various reviews will be presented to the Council at their July 8-12, 2002 meeting when they will make final decisions on the red grouper Secretarial amendment.

Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda 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 this meeting. Actions of the SEP will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agenda 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 May 15, 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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