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

Gulf Council logoNEWS RELEASE


Tampa, Florida - August 6, 2004 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will jointly convene its Special Coral Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) and Coral Advisory Panel (AP) to discuss information relevant to the location of coral reef resources in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly deep coral reefs and any potential impacts from existing or reasonably forseeable fishing activities. The Joint Coral AP/SSC will also be asked to provide recommendations relative to a Rulemaking Petition to Protect Deep-Sea Coral and Sponge Habitat filed with the Secretary of Commerce by Oceana.

The meeting will be held at the DoubleTree Guest Suites Tampa Bay, 3050 North Rocky Point Drive West, Tampa, Florida 33607. The meeting is to begin at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 2, 2004 and conclude by 5:00 p.m.

Although non-emergency issues not contained in the agenda may come before the Joint Coral AP/SSC for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (M-SFCMA), those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. The Joint Coral AP/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 M-SFCMA, provided the public has been notified of the Councilís intent to take final action to address the emergency. A copy of the Joint Coral AP/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 August 26, 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 In addition, Council press releases may be received via e-mail by sending a blank e-mail message to with SUBSCRIBE as the subject.