CoralCoral, Coral Reef and Live/Hardbottom Habitat Plan prohibits harvest of stony corals, seafans, coral reefs and live rock except as authorized for scientific and educational purposes. The harvest of allowable octocorals for the aquarium trade is limited in number and only allowed south of Cape Canaveral, Florida. In addition, Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPC), the Oculina Bank and Satellite Coral HAPCs, have been designated in the South Atlantic. Within those areas, habitat damaging fishing gear is prohibited including bottom tending trawl gear, traps, dredges, and bottom longlines. Anchoring or the use of grapples is also prohibited for all fishing vessels.

History of Management - Coral

 

Fishery Management Plan / Amendments

Amendment(Year Submitted)

Amendment 9 (2013)

Summary of Major Actions(Refer to Proposed & Final Rules for details)

Developed under the Joint Generic Dealer Reporting Amendment

Proposed & Final Rules
Effective Date
Amendment(Year Submitted)

Amendment 8 (2014) Appendices

Summary of Major Actions(Refer to Proposed & Final Rules for details)

Expansion of the Stetson-Miami TerraceDeepwater Coral Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC), the Cape Lookout Deepwater Coral HAPC, and the Oculina Bank HAPC; and implement a transit provision through the Oculina Bank HAPC.

Proposed & Final Rules
Effective Date
Amendment(Year Submitted)

Amendment 7 (2011)

Summary of Major Actions(Refer to Proposed & Final Rules for details)

Included as part of the Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 2 (CE-BA 2)

Proposed & Final Rules
Effective Date
Amendment(Year Submitted)

Amendment 6 (2009)

Appendices

Summary of Major Actions(Refer to Proposed & Final Rules for details)

Included as part of the Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 1 (CE-BA 1) to establish Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (CHAPCs).

Within the CHAPCs, the possession of coral species and the use of all bottom damaging gear is prohibited including bottom longline, trawl (bottom and mid-water), dredge, pot or trap, or the use of an anchor, anchor and chain, or grapple and chain by all fishing vessels.
CHAPCs are located in the following areas:

  • Cape Lookout Lophelia Banks
  • Cape Fear Lophelia Banks
  • Stetson Reefs, Savannah and East Florida Lithoherms, and Miami Terrace (Stetson-Miami Terrace)
  • Pourtales Terrace
  • Blake Ridge Diapir Methane Seep

The establishment of these areas allows for the continuation of the golden crab and deepwater shrimp fisheries in their historical fishing grounds with little or no negative impacts to protected deepwater coral habitat.

Coral HAPC Map

Coral HAPC Map with Fishery Access Areas

Effective Date

July 22, 2010

Amendment(Year Submitted)

Amendment 5 (1998)

Summary of Major Actions(Refer to Proposed & Final Rules for details)

Established management under the National Standard Guidelines that:

  • Prohibits taking of coral reefs, (specifically, stony corals and black corals, fire coral and hydrocorals and two species of seafans.);
  • Provides for a limited harvest of soft corals or octocorals except the two prohibited species of seafans and establishes coral habitat areas of particular concern (HAPC).
  • Prohibits fishing with bottom longlines, traps, pots, and bottom trawls within HAPCs.
  • Designated HAPCs in conjunction with the Oculina Bank, off Ft. Pierce on Florida's East Coast.
  • Prohibits use of toxic chemicals to take fish or other marine organisms in or on a "coral area" including patch reefs, outer bank reefs, deepwater banks, and hard bottoms.
  • Prohibits collection of dead coral or calcium carbonate rock (known as "live rock" in the aquarium trade);
  • Established a live rock aquaculture permit system for the South Atlantic EEZ;
  • Established criteria for issuance of permits to take prohibited coral for scientific, research, and educational, purposes and a permit system for use of allowable chemicals and harvest of octocorals.
Proposed & Final Rules
Effective Date
Amendment(Year Submitted)

Amendment 4 (1998)

Summary of Major Actions(Refer to Proposed & Final Rules for details)

Identified Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for coral, coral reefs and live/hard bottom habitats of the south Atlantic region.; established EFH-Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPC) for coral, coral reefs and live/hard bottom habitats; expanded the Oculina Bank HAPC; established the following two Satellite Oculina HAPCs: (1) Satellite Oculina HAPC #1 , and (2) Satellite Oculina HAPC #2.

Proposed & Final Rules
Effective Date

July 14, 2000

Amendment(Year Submitted)

Amendment 3 (1995)

Summary of Major Actions(Refer to Proposed & Final Rules for details)

Established a live rock aquaculture permit system for the South Atlantic EEZ; Prohibited octocoral harvest north of Cape Canaveral, Florida; Prohibited anchoring of fishing vessels in the Oculina Bank Habitat Area of Particular Concern; This amendment established a separate fishery management plan for the South Atlantic.

Effective Date

January 26, 1996

Amendment(Year Submitted)

Amendment 2 (1994)

Summary of Major Actions(Refer to Proposed & Final Rules for details)

Joint amendment with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council: Provided definitions of live rock and allowable octocoral; Prohibited all wild live rock harvest north of Dade County, FL; Prohibited chipping throughout South Atlantic jurisdiction; Required permit for possession or harvest of aquaculture operation in the EEZ; and Implemented a phase-out of all wild rock harvest South of Dade County, FL.

Proposed & Final Rules
Effective Date
Amendment(Year Submitted)

Amendment 1 (1990)

Summary of Major Actions(Refer to Proposed & Final Rules for details)

Joint amendment with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council: Implemented a combined octocoral quota for Gulf and South Atlantic EEZ.

Proposed & Final Rules
Effective Date
Amendment(Year Submitted)

FMP (1982)

Summary of Major Actions(Refer to Proposed & Final Rules for details)

Joint plan with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council: Set optimum yield for stony corals and sea fans at zero; OY for octocorals, except sea fans

Proposed & Final Rules
Effective Date