SAFMC GIS Data

Essential Fish Habitat (EFH)

The Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996, identifying the contribution of habitat loss and degradation on fishery declines, amended the Magnuson-Stevens Act to create a program to protect "essential fish habitat." The statute defined EFH as "those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity." The legislation authorized a regulatory program to provide detailed identification of such habitat and obligatory consultation regarding all fishery and non-fishery activities receiving federal funding, permitting, or authorization that could impact EFH. The Council has taken the first step with the approval of the Habitat Plan identifying and describing in detail EFH for species managed throughout the South Atlantic and with the approval of the Comprehensive Habitat Amendment amending all existing FMPs to include descriptions of EFH and EFH-habitat areas of particular concern (EFH-HAPCs).

EFH for the SAFMC jurisdictional area INCLUDES:

Dolphin-Wahoo EFH

In Progress

Zip File ~21kb

Shrimp EFH

Metadata

Zip File ~46 mb

Spiny Lobster EFH

Metadata

Zip File ~29 mb

Coastal Migratory Pelagics EFH

Metadata

Zip File ~5 mb

Golden Crab EFH

Metadata

Zip File ~51 kb

Snapper Grouper EFH

Metadata

Zip File ~65 mb

Coral, Coral Reefs, Live or Hard Bottom EFH

Metadata

Zip File ~4 mb


EFH-Habitat Areas of Particular Concern

Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) that is particularly important to the long-term productivity of populations of one or more managed species, or particularly vulnerable to degradation, should be identified as "habitat areas of particular concern" (HAPC) to help provide additional focus for conservation efforts. As a result of the Sustainable Fisheries Act Amendment to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1996 the Councils and the NMFS have been mandated to use an ecosystem approach in managing the Nation's Fisheries. The Council took the first step with the approval of the Habitat Plan identifying and describing in detail EFH for species managed throughout the South Atlantic and with the approval of the Comprehensive Habitat Amendment amending all existing FMPs to include descriptions of EFH and EFH-HAPCs. Due to their important ecological function, areas of the offshore pelagic environments discussed above and the associated benthic habitats represent EFH-HAPCs and were designated as such though previous Council actions.

EFH-HAPCs INCLUDE:

HABITAT

METADATA

SHAPEFILE

GOOGLE EARTH

Dolphin-Wahoo EFH-HAPC

Metadata

Zip File ~8 kb

KMZ

Coastal Migratory Pelagics EFH-HAPC

Metadata

Zip File ~238 kb

KMZ

Shrimp EFH-HAPC

Metadata

Zip File ~2 mb

KMZ

Spiny Lobster EFH-HAPC

Metadata

Zip File ~2.8 mb

KMZ

Snapper Grouper EFH-HAPC

Metadata

Zip File ~28 mb

KMZ

Coral, Coral Reef and Live or Hard Bottom EFH-HAPC

Metadata

Zip File ~2 mb

KMZ

Tilefish EFH-HAPC

In progress

Zip File ~23kb

In progress


Deepwater Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (Coral HAPCs)

Deepwater Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (Deepwater Coral HAPCs) have been designated off the coast of the southern Atlantic states in which the use of specified fishing gear and methods and the possession of coral is prohibited. Within the Deepwater Coral HAPCs, fishing zones have been established that allow continued fishing on the historical grounds for golden crab and deepwater shrimp. This designation protects what is thought to be the largest distribution of pristine deepwater coral ecosystems in the world.

Deepwater Coral HAPCs include:

HABITAT

METADATA

Tab Delimited Coordinates

SHAPEFILE

GOOGLE EARTH

Deepwater Coral HAPCs

Metadata

 

Zip File ~11kb

KMZ

Cape Lookout

 

CapeLookout.txt

 

 

Cape Fear

 

CapeFear.txt

 

 

Stetson-Miami Terrace

 

StetsonMiamiTerrace.txt

 

 

Pourtales Terrace

 

PourtalesTerrace.txt

 

 

Blake Ridge Diapir

 

BlakeRidgeDiapir.txt

 

 

Golden Crab Access Area A

 

GCAA_A.txt

Zip File ~6kb

KMZ

Golden Crab Access Area B

 

GCAA_B.txt

Zip File ~2kb

KMZ

Golden Crab Access Area C

 

GCAA_C.txt

Zip File ~3kb

KMZ

Golden Crab Southern Access Area

 

GCAA_Southern.txt

Zip File ~3kb

KMZ

Shrimp Fishery Access Area A

 

SFAA_A.txt

Zip File ~3kb

KMZ

Shrimp Fishery Access Area B

 

SFAA_B.txt

Zip File ~3kb

KMZ

Shrimp Fishery Access Area C

 

SFAA_C.txt

Zip File ~3kb

KMZ

Shrimp Fishery Access Area D

 

SFAA_D.txt

Zip File ~3kb

KMZ


Restricted Gear

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (SAFMC) role is to develop fishery management plans needed to manage fishery resources within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extending from state waters (three miles in the south Atlantic) to 200 nautical miles. The 1996 Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA) was passed by Congress to protect marine fish stocks with requirements to prevent and stop overfishing, minimize bycatch, and protect habitat. These layers geographically represent prohibitions on the use of various gear (to fish for and retain snapper grouper species) within the SAFMC EEZ.

GEAR

METADATA

SHAPEFILE

GOOGLE EARTH

Roller Rig Trawls

Metadata

Zip File ~70kb

KMZ

Sargassum

Metadata

Zip File ~75kb

KMZ

Black Sea Bass Pots

Metadata

Zip File ~30kb

KMZ

Bottom Longlines

Metadata

Zip File ~90kb

KMZ

Fish Traps

Metadata

Zip File ~73kb

KMZ

Octocorals

In Progress

Zip File ~ 48kb

KMZ