Essential Fish Habitat (EFH)
About Essential Fish Habitat
In 1996 Congress added new habitat provisions to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the federal law that governs U.S. marine fisheries management. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, each fishery management plan must describe and identify Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for the fishery, 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 must consult with NMFS regarding any action they authorize, fund, or undertake that may adversely affect EFH, and NMFS must provide conservation recommendations to federal and state agencies regarding any action that would adversely affect EFH.
As Congress noted in section 2(a)(9) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, "One of the greatest long-term threats to the viability of commercial and recreational fisheries is the continuing loss of marine, estuarine, and other aquatic habitats. Habitat considerations should receive increased attention for the conservation and management of fishery resources of the United States."
Alaska EFH Information
- Frequently Asked Questions
- An Introduction to EFH: Regulatory Authority, Descriptions, 5-Year Review, HAPC, and Consultations, April 2015
- EFH Regulations
- EFH Descriptions and Identification
- Final Environmental Impact Statement for EFH Identification and Conservation in Alaska, April 2005
- Preserving Fish Habitat in the Bering Sea
- Impacts to EFH from Non-fishing Activities in Alaska, November 2011
- Mobile Fishing Gear Effects Bibliography Database
- EFH Omnibus Amendments, October 2012
- EFH 5-year Review, May 2010
- EFH Consultations and Letters
- Habitat Areas of Particular Concern
- Alaska Essential Fish Habitat Research Plan: A Research Plan for the National Marine Fisheries Service's Alaska Fisheries Science Center and Alaska Regional Office. October 2012. AFSC Processed Report 2012-06.
- Biological Characterization: An Overview of Bristol, Nushagak, and Kvichak Bays; Essential Fish Habitat, Processes, and Species Assemblages