Essential Fish Habitat

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), defines essential fish habitat (EFH) as “…those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity.”

The 2006 reauthorized MSA, Section 303, Contents of Fishery Management Plans, states that “Any fishery management plan which is prepared by any Council, or by the Secretary, with respect to any fishery, shall … describe and identify essential fish habitat for the fishery based on the guidelines established by the Secretary under section 305(b)(1)(A), minimize to the extent practicable adverse effects on such habitat caused by fishing.”

Click here for – Essential Fish Habitat Descriptions for Western Pacific Archipelagic and Remote Island Areas Fishery Ecosystem Plan Management Unit Species.

Click here for – Essential Fish Habitat Descriptions for Pacific Pelagic Fishery Ecosystem Plan Management Unit Species

MSA Section 305(b) 3 states that the Council—

  • (A) may comment on and make recommendations to the Secretary and any Federal or State agency concerning any activity authorized, funded, or undertaken, or proposed to be authorized, funded, or undertaken, by any Federal or State agency that, in the view of the Council, may affect the habitat, including essential fish habitat, of a fishery resource under its authority; and
  • (B) shall comment on and make recommendations to the Secretary and any Federal or State agency concerning any such activity that, in the view of the Council, is likely to substantially affect the habitat, including essential fish habitat, of an anadromous fishery resource under its authority.

MSA Section 305 (b) 4 provides the process for recommendations made by the Council:

  • (A) If the Secretary receives information from a Council or Federal or State agency or determines from other sources that an action authorized, funded, or undertaken, or proposed to be authorized, funded, or undertaken, by any State or Federal agency would adversely affect any essential fish habitat identified under this Act, the Secretary shall recommend to such agency measures that can be taken by such agency to conserve such habitat.
  • (B) Within 30 days after receiving a recommendation under subparagraph (A), a Federal agency shall provide a detailed response in writing to any Council commenting under paragraph (3) and the Secretary regarding the matter. The response shall include a description of measures proposed by the agency for avoiding, mitigating, or offsetting the impact of the activity on such habitat. In the case of a response that is inconsistent with the recommendations of the Secretary, the Federal agency shall explain its reasons for not following the recommendations.”

Upcoming Events

Apr
21
Tue
all-day SPC preparatory workshop for Tun... @ Virtual
SPC preparatory workshop for Tun... @ Virtual
Apr 21 – Apr 24 all-day
Date: Apr. 21-24, 2020 Location Noumea, but is being held electronically.
Apr
20
Mon
1:00 pm Archipelagic Plan Team (Via WebEX)
Archipelagic Plan Team (Via WebEX)
Apr 20 @ 1:00 pm – Apr 22 @ 5:00 pm
Date: April 20-22, 2020          Time: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm HST Location: https://wprfmc.webex.com/join/info.wpcouncilnoaa.gov Agenda
Apr
23
Thu
1:00 pm Fishery Data Collection and Rese...
Fishery Data Collection and Rese...
Apr 23 @ 1:00 pm – Apr 24 @ 5:00 pm
Date: Apr. 23-24, 2020          Time: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm HST Location: https://wprfmc.webex.com/join/info.wpcouncilnoaa.gov Agenda
Apr
28
Tue
10:00 am Permanent Advisory Committee To ... @ Teleconference
Permanent Advisory Committee To ... @ Teleconference
Apr 28 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Date: April 28, 2020          Time: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be conducted via conference call. For details on how to call in to the conference line[...]