This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA87FC0003.

NOAA logoNEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY
CONTACT: STEVEN ATRAN

REEF FISH STOCK ASSESSMENT PANEL TO REVIEW NEW RED SNAPPER ASSESSMENT AND PROPOSED OVERFISHING AND REBUILDING CRITERIA

Tampa, Florida - September 11, 1998 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a meeting of the Reef Fish Stock Assessment Panel (RFSAP) to review a stock assessment on the status of the red snapper stock in the Gulf of Mexico prepared by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The meeting is scheduled for October 5-8, 1998 at the Miami Laboratory of NMFS, 75 Virginia Beach Drive, Miami, Florida 33149. The meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, October 5, 1998 and will conclude by noon on Thursday, October 8, 1998.

Based on its review of the red snapper stock assessment, the RFSAP will recommend a range of allowable biological catch (ABC) for 1999, and may recommend management measures to achieve the ABC. In addition, the RFSAP will review the scientific information behind selection of specific values for the red snapper control rule parameters. These parameters will be used by the Council to define new criteria for establishing overfishing and overfished thresholds, and a rebuilding schedule that complies with new provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act for preventing overfishing and rebuilding overfished stocks that were incorporated into the Act in 1996.

The RFSAP is composed of biologists who are trained in the specialized field of population dynamics. They advise the Council on the status of stocks and, when necessary, recommend a level of ABC needed to prevent overfishing or to effect a recovery of an overfished stock. They may also recommend catch restrictions needed to attain management goals.

The conclusions of the RFSAP will be reviewed by the Council’s Standing and Special Reef Fish Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) and by the Red Snapper Advisory Panel (RSAP) at meetings to be held in early November. The Council will set a 1999 red snapper total allowable catch (TAC) and associated management measures at its meeting in Galveston, Texas on November 9-12, 1998, based on the recommendations of the RFSAP, SSC, and public testimony that will be taken at the Council meeting.

A copy of the agenda for the RFSAP meeting can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815. Although other issues not on the agenda may come before the RFSAP 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 RFSAP will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agenda listed as available by this notice.

The RFSAP 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 September 28, 1998.

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 Council’s web site, 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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