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

Aug
15
Mon
all-day 7th National Scientific Coordina...
7th National Scientific Coordina...
Aug 15 – Aug 17 all-day
Date: August 15-17, 2022 Location: Sitka, AK The Scientific Coordination Subcommittee will convene the 7th national meeting of the Scientific Coordination Subcommittee (SCS7) in person this summer. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will host[...]
all-day Annual Meeting of the IATTC and ...
Annual Meeting of the IATTC and ...
Aug 15 – Aug 26 all-day
Date: Aug. 15-26, 2022 Location: Video Conference Click here for link to IATTC website to learn more about the meeting.
Aug
18
Thu
9:00 am Hawai’i Archipelago FEP Advisory...
Hawai’i Archipelago FEP Advisory...
Aug 18 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Date: August 18, 2022          Time: 9:00 am to 4:00 am Location: The meeting will be held in a hybrid format with in-person and remote participation (Webex) options available for the advisory[...]
Aug
23
Tue
9:00 am Meeting of the Marine Fisheries ...
Meeting of the Marine Fisheries ...
Aug 23 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Date: August 23, 2022          Time: 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm (EST) Location: Web Conference via webinar and teleconference Access information for the public will be posted at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/partners/marine-fisheries-advisory-committee-meeting-materials-and-summaries This meeting time[...]