The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act includes provisions concerning the identification and conservation of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). The Magnuson-Stevens Act defines EFH as “those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity.” The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and regional Fishery Management Councils (Councils) must describe and identify EFH in fishery management plans (FMPs), minimize to the extent practicable the adverse effects of fishing on EFH, and identify other actions to encourage the conservation and enhancement of EFH. Federal agencies that authorize, fund, or undertake actions that may adversely affect EFH must consult with NMFS, and NMFS must provide conservation recommendations to federal and state agencies regarding actions that would adversely affect EFH.
Each FMP contains the following EFH components: EFH identification and description for managed species, fishing and non-fishing activities that may adversely affect EFH, conservation and enhancement recommendations for EFH, and research and information needs. The EFH provisions in each FMP must be reviewed, and if appropriate, revised, every 5 years. Staff contact is Steve MacLean: 907-271-3235.
Documents and Council Motions
- Council motion on EFH 5 year review (10/14)
- 2015 EFH 5-year Review Approach; Fishing Effects Workplan 4/14
- Bristol Bay red king crab EFH discussion paper – 4/11
- EFH final motion – 2/11
- EFH Omnibus amendments Public Review draft – 2/11
- Final Summary Report on EFH 5-year review for 2010 – 4/10
- Bering Sea Habitat Conservation final motion, map – 6/07
- Bering Sea Habitat Conservation EA (BSAI Amendment 89) – 6/07
- AI HCA EFH Final motion – 4/07
- AI Habitat Conservation Area EA – 3/07