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

Jun
15
Tue
all-day 140th Scientific and Statistical...
140th Scientific and Statistical...
Jun 15 – Jun 17 all-day
Date: June 15-17, 2021               Time: 11:00 am to 5:00 pm (Hawaii) ………………………………    Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (American Samoa) ………………………………    Time: 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm[...]
Jun
21
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1:00 pm Pelagic & International Standing...
Pelagic & International Standing...
Jun 21 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Date: June 21, 2021          Time: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Location: Web Conference Meeting Link: https://wprfmc.webex.com/wprfmc/onstage/g.php?MTID=ee919726e1d6068a996855b8c941bf15e Event number (if prompted): 133 716 9729 Event password (if prompted): PISC621mtg Major agenda items: Gear[...]
3:30 pm Executive & Budget Standing Comm...
Executive & Budget Standing Comm...
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Date: June 21, 2021          Time: 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm Location: Web Conference Meeting link: https://wprfmc.webex.com/wprfmc/onstage/g.php?MTID=e2d7b9598b9c7732c21017c0cbed12999 Event number (if prompted): 133 957 0253 Event password (if prompted): EBSC621mtg Major agenda items:[...]
Jun
22
Tue
all-day 186th Council Meeting (Virtual)
186th Council Meeting (Virtual)
Jun 22 – Jun 24 all-day
Date: June 22-24, 2021               Time: 11:00 am to 5:00 pm (Hawaii) …………………………………… Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (American Samoa) June 23-25, 2021         …………Time: 7:00 am to[...]