This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA05NMF4410003.

Gulf Council logoNEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: AS APPROPRIATE
CONTACT: STEVEN ATRAN

ECOSYSTEM SCIENTIFIC AND STATISTICAL COMMITTEE TO MEET IN TAMPA, FLORIDA

Tampa, Florida Ė May 18, 2005 Ė The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene the first meeting of its newly formed Ecosystem Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) in Tampa, Florida on June 9-10, 2005. The SSC will 1) review a presentation on EcoGIS, a pilot project that brings the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the National Ocean Service (NOS), and the eight regional fishery management councils together to build on existing regional geographic information systems (GIS) capabilities; and more fully develop GIS tools for managing and researching marine fishery ecosystems; as well as review the projectís role in the development of an ecosystem based approach to fisheries management; 2) review the findings of a decision support tool workshop that was held by ecosystem scientists in February; 3) review a NMFS report titled Strategies for Incorporating Ecosystem Considerations in Fisheries Management; 4) review an interim report of an ad hoc working group on guidelines for fishery ecosystem plans; 5) develop the role of the SSC in identification of technical needs, establishing an inventory of existing information, and synthesizing public input on ecosystem goals and objectives; and 6) meet with the Councilís ecosystem workshop facilitator and provide advice on issues to include in an upcoming series of public workshops on ecosystem based fisheries management.

The SSC meeting will be convened at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 9, 2005 and will conclude by 2:00 p.m. on Friday, June 10, 2005. The meeting will be held at the DoubleTree Guest Suites Tampa Bay, 3050 North Rocky Point Drive West, Tampa, Florida 33607.

Copies of the agenda and other related materials can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815. Although other non-emergency issues not on the agendas may come before the SSCs for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Actions of the SSC 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 MSFCMA, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take action to address the emergency.

The meetings are open to the public and physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office by May 26, 2005.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight 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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