Habitat Protection by FMP


Coral, Coral Reef and Live/Hardbottom Habitat FMP

  • Prohibits take, damage and possession in the EEZ of prohibited corals (except under a federal permit for scientific, educational, or restoration purposes), wild live rock, aquacultured live rock without the required federal permit, octocorals north of Cape Canaveral (FL) or sea fans.
  • Prohibits the use or possession of toxic chemicals in a coral area in the EEZ.
  • A power assisted tool may not be used to take prohibited coral, allowable octocoral or live rock.
  • In the Oculina Bank HAPC: prohibits the use of bottom longline, bottom trawl, dredge, pot or trap; prohibition on anchoring, use of an anchor and chain or grapple and chain by any fishing vessel; prohibition on fishing or possession of rock shrimp from the area; and prohibits the possession of Oculina coral.
  • Framework procedure to modify or establish Coral HAPCs.

The Sargassum FMP

  • Prohibition on all harvest of Sargassum in the EEZ south of the SC-NC border.
  • Prohibition on all harvest of Sargassum in the EEZ within 100 miles of shore off North Carolina.
  • Harvest allowed only between November and June.
  • Total allowable catch (TAC) = 5,000 lbs landed wet weight.
  • Official observer must be present on each Sargassum harvesting trip.

Snapper/Grouper FMP

  • Prohibits use of bottom longlines inside of 50 fathoms or anywhere south of St. Lucie Inlet, Florida;
  • Prohibits use of fish traps;
  • Prohibits use of bottom tending (roller-rig) trawls on live bottom habitat;
  • Prohibits use of entanglement nets;
  • Establishes an Experimental Closed Area within the Oculina HAPC where the harvest and retention of all snapper/grouper species is prohibited; and
  • Prohibits or restricts the use of highly efficient and potentially damaging fishing gear that are not compatible with the intent of the SMZ permittee for the artificial reef or fish attraction device.
  • Prohibits the use of black sea bass pots South of 28degrees 35.1N Latitude.
  • Requires hinges and door panels of black sea bass pots to be made of degradable material: ungalvanized or uncoated wire no longer than 19 gauge or 0.041 inches diameter.

Shrimp FMP

  • Prohibits rock shrimp trawling in the Oculina HAPC; and
  • Requires Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) on vessels participating in the rock shrimp fishery off Florida and Georgia.
  • Mandates use of bycatch reduction devices in the penaeid shrimp fishery.
  • Establishes concurrent closure of the EEZ to penaeid shrimping if environmental conditions in state waters are such that the over wintering spawning stock is severely depleted.

The Coastal Migratory Pelagics FMP

  • Prohibition on the use of gill nets in the coastal migratory pelagics fishery

The Golden Crab FMP

  • Prohibition on the use of wire cable for mainline and bouy lines.
  • Prohibition on deploying golden crab traps in waters shallower than 900 feet in the Northern Zone:  North of the 28 Degree Latitude to the North Carolina Virginia border.
  • Prohibition on deploying golden crab traps in waters shallower than 700 feet in the Middle and Southern Zone:  South of the 28 Degree Latitude to the boundary between the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Councils.

The Spiny Lobster FMP

  • Prohibition on the use of poisons or explosives.
  • Prohibition on tending traps at night.

The Dolphin and Wahoo FMP

Defers to management measures in Sargassum FMP to reduce impacts of fishing on EFH: 

  • Prohibition on all harvest of Sargassum in the EEZ south of the SC-NC border;
  • Prohibition on all harvest of Sargassum in the EEZ within 100 miles of shore off North Carolina;
  • Harvest allowed only between November and June; Total allowable catch (TAC) = 5,000 lbs landed wet weight; and Official observer must be present on each Sargassum harvesting trip.