This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA03NMF4410028.



Tampa, Florida - October 2, 2003 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene its Coral Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) to discuss the current status and trends with coral reef resources in the Gulf of Mexico, and issues that concern the health of coral reefs. Some of the issues to be discussed include: diseases, oceanographic phenomena, global climate change, human interactions, and marine reserves. The Coral SSC will also consider funding priorities for future coral research projects and develop any recommendations for the Council.

The meeting will be held at the Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore, 2225 Lois Avenue, Tampa, Florida. The meeting is to begin at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, October 27, 2003 and conclude by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 28, 2003.

Although non-emergency issues not contained in the agenda may come before the Coral SSC for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA), those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. The Coral SSC 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 Coral SSC 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 October 20, 2003.

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.