This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA04NMF4410020.

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RELEASE: AS APPROPRIATE
CONTACT: RICHARD LEARD

SEDAR ASSESSMENT WORKSHOP TO DEVELOP STOCK ASSESSMENTS FOR GULF AND ATLANTIC GROUP KING MACKEREL

Tampa, Florida - January 27, 2004 - The Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, in cooperation with the Southeast Fisheries Science Center of the National Marine Fisheries Service, will hold a Stock Assessment Workshop in Miami, Florida as part of the Southeast Data Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process to assess the status of Gulf and Atlantic group king mackerel. The Stock Assessment Workshop will include a select group of scientists, commercial and recreational fishing representatives, state agency personnel, and other knowledgeable persons to review recently completed stock assessment data and modeling approaches; and in conjunction with biologists at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center, develop assessments of the Gulf and Atlantic group king mackerel stocks.

The workshop will evaluate the current condition of these stocks based on established and proposed status criteria (minimum stock size thresholds [MSST] and maximum fishing mortality thresholds [MFMT]) to determine whether either stock is overfished or undergoing overfishing and may recommend levels of acceptable biological catch. A report will be produced by the workshop that will be reviewed at the SEDAR Assessment Review Workshop beginning April 5, 2004. Final recommendations will subsequently be used by the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils to develop any additional management measures, if needed, for these stocks.

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 2:00 p.m. on Monday, February 16, 2004 and conclude by 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 19, 2004. An agenda and materials to be reviewed at the workshop are available from NMFS SEDAR Coordinator John Carmichael (843-571-4366, e-mail John.Carmichael@safmc.net).

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 February 2, 2004.

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 Council prepares fishery management plans that are designed to manage fishery resources in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 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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