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NOAA Fisheries Seeks Comments on Proposed Rule for the New England Fishery Management Council’s Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment

November 6, 2017

We are seeking public comment on an action that would:

  • Revise the essential fish habitat designations for all New England Fishery Management Council-managed species and life stages;
  • Add Habitat Areas of Particular Concern to highlight especially important habitat areas, including 16 canyons and two seamounts;
  • Revise the spatial management system within the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank, and the southern New England area to better align with scientific advice on how and where to protect essential fish habitat while balancing the economic needs of the fishing industry;
  • Establish two Dedicated Habitat Research Areas;
  • Revise or implement seasonal spawning protection measures; and
  • Add a system for reviewing and updating the proposed measures.

Read the proposed rule and supplemental documents as published in the Federal Register, and submit your comments through the online portal. You may also submit comments through regular mail to: John Bullard, Regional Administrator, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930.

The comment period is open through December 5.

See the map of the Council's proposed habitat areas below. The dashed lines show the boundaries of the existing closed areas and habitat closures.

Questions? Contact Jennifer Goebel, Regional Office, at 978-281-9175

Existing and Proposed Closures for Omnibus Habitat Amendment