In 1998, the South Atlantic Council developed its Habitat Plan and Comprehensive Amendment Addressing Essential Fish Habitat in Fishery Management Plans for the South Atlantic Region. The Habitat Plan and associated amendment were the first in the nation to be approved by the Secretary of Commerce and not challenged and overturned. This plan serves as a source document, consolidating the best available information at the time on habitat essential to species management in the South Atlantic. The Habitat Plan was prepared through a cooperative effort of state, federal, and regional partners on the Council's Habitat and Coral Advisory Panels.
The Habitat Plan will serve as the basis for the newly developed Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP) as the Council moves forward to develop an ecosystem-based approach to resource management. To learn more about this innovative approach, visit the Council's Ecosystem Site.