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10. Federal Fisheries Regulations
Authorities: 16 U.S.C. §1801 et seq.: Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; 50 CFR 600.00: Essential Fish Habitat.
Jurisdiction: Habitat of marine, estuarine, and anadromous finfish, mollusks, and crustaceans.
Applicability: Projects affecting Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) that require a federal permit may be subject to an EFH Assessment.
Regulatory Summary: The 1996 amendments to the Magnuson-Stevens Act strengthened the ability of National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Fisheries Councils to protect EFH, including the waters and substrates necessary for fish to spawn, breed, feed, or grow to maturity. Habitat for managed species must be identified and adverse effects to EFH minimized. NMFS and other federal agencies must coordinate with each other on efforts to preserve and enhance EFH. EFH has been identified for 59 species in New England.
Review Process: Generally, NMFS incorporates its EFH Assessment into existing interagency coordination processes established under the National Environmental Policy Act, the federal Endangered Species Act (6), the Clean Water Act (18), the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and other applicable federal laws. Upon being notified of a project proposal, NMFS must develop EFH Conservation Recommendations for the project. These recommendations are reflected in the federal permit.
Contact: NMFS, Habitat Conservation Division (978) 881-9102.
Publication Date: Fall, 2003
A publication of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. NA170Z2338. This publication is funded (in part) by a grant/cooperative agreement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or any of its sub-agencies.