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



Tampa, Florida - May 3, 2002 - The Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils will convene their joint Mackerel Stock Assessment Panel (MSAP) to review a new stock assessment for Gulf group king mackerel and stock assessment updates for Gulf group Spanish mackerel and Atlantic group king and Spanish mackerel. The MSAP will consider available information, including but not limited to, commercial and recreational catches, natural and fishing mortality estimates, recruitment, fishery-dependent and fishery-independent data, bycatch and bycatch mortality, and data needs. These analyses will be used to determine the condition of the stocks and possibly the levels of acceptable biological catch (ABC) for the 2002-2003 fishing year. The MSAP may also review estimates/proxies for maximum sustainable yield (MSY), optimum yield (OY), as well as overfishing and overfished definitions for Gulf bluefish, cero, and little tunny.

The meeting will be held at the National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Fisheries Science Center, 75 Virginia Beach Drive in Miami, Florida. The meeting is to begin at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 and conclude by 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 30, 2002.

Although non-emergency issues not contained in the agenda may come before the MSAP for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA), those issues may not be the subject of formal MSAP action during this meeting. The MSAP actions will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice 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 Councilís intent to take final action to address the emergency. A copy of the MSAP agenda can be obtained by calling (813) 228-2815.

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 21, 2002.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is 1 of 8 Regional Fishery Management Councils that were established by the MSFCMA of 1976, as amended. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council prepares fishery management plans and amendments that are designed to manage fishery resources to the 200-mile limit in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

This news release, and other Council news releases, can be viewed at the Councilís web site, In addition, Council press releases may be received via e-mail by sending a blank e-mail message to with SUBSCRIBE as the subject.