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

NOAA logoNEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY
CONTACT: ANTONIO LAMBERTE

FISHERY COUNCIL TO CONVENE SOCIOECONOMIC PANEL

Tampa, Florida - May 17, 2002 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene its Socioeconomic Panel (SEP) to review available social and economic information on Gulf king and Spanish mackerel and to determine the social and economic implications of the levels of acceptable biological catch (ABC) recommended by the Councilís Mackerel Stock Assessment Panel (MSAP). The SEP may recommend to the Council total allowable catch (TAC) levels for the 2003 fishing year and certain management measures associated with achieving the TACs. In addition, the SEP will review the results of a bioeconomic modeling evaluation of the measures proposed in the Secretarial amendment for rebuilding the red grouper stock.

The SEP meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12, 2002 and conclude at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, June 14, 2002. The meeting will be held at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel, 701 Convention Center Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana. A report will be prepared by the SEP containing their conclusions and recommendations. The red grouper part of the 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 June 24th, 2002 in Tampa, Florida and to the Council at its meeting on the week of July 8th, 2002 in Sarasota, Florida. The mackerel portion of the report will be presented for review to the Councilís Mackerel Advisory Panel and Standing and Special Mackerel Scientific and Statistical Committee at meetings to be held on the week of July 29th, 2002 in New Orleans, Louisiana and to the Council at its meeting on the week of September 9th, 2002 in Metairie, Louisiana.

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 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 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 June 5, 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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