South Atlantic Fishery Management Council



Coral and Live Bottom Habitat

The Coral Fishery Management Plan applies to the coral, coral reef and live hardbottom habitat resources of the South Atlantic Region and comprises hundreds of individual species. The original FMP was joint with the Gulf of Mexico and approved in 1984.  

Official name: Fishery Management Plan for Coral, Coral Reef, and Live/Hard bottom Habitats of the South Atlantic Region.

The Coral FMP’s intent was to optimize the benefits generated from the coral resource while conserving the coral and coral reefs. Specific management objectives addressed through the FMP were to minimize adverse human impacts on coral, coral reefs and live hard bottom habitat; designate Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (C-HAPCs) to protect coral and live bottom habitat; increase public awareness of the importance and sensitivity of coral and coral reefs and provide a coordinated management regime for the conservation of coral and coral reefs.  

Staff contact

Recent news

Upcoming meetings

Amendments under development

  • Coral Amendment 10

    Establishes a Shrimp Fishery Access Area along the eastern boundary of the northern extension of the Oculina Bank Habitat Area of Particular Concern.

    Final approval

Completed Amendments

  • Coral Amendment 8

    Expanded multiple coral habitat areas of particular concern and implemented a transit provision through the Oculina Bank HAPC.

    Aug 17, 2015
  • Coral Amendment 9

    Included in the Comprehensive Dealer Reporting Amendment. Modified permitting and reporting requirements for seafood dealers receiving federally managed species under eight fishery management plans.

    Jul 7, 2014
  • Coral Amendment 7

    Included in the Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 2. Modified management of octocorals in the South Atlantic, special management zones off South Carolina, and sea turtle release gear requirements for the snapper grouper fishery. Designated essential fish habitat (EFH) and EFH-Habitat Areas of Particular Concern for multiple fishery management plans.

    Jan 30, 2012
  • Coral Amendment 6

    Included in the Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 1. Established deepwater Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (CHAPC) and established Shrimp Fishery Access Areas and Allowable Golden Crab Fishing Areas within the CHAPCs. Provided spatial information for Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) and EFH-HAPC under multiple fishery management plans.

    Jul 22, 2010
  • Coral Amendment 4

    Included in the Comprehensive EFH Amendment. Identified essential fish habitat (EFH) and established EFH-habitat areas of particular concern (HAPC) for managed species in the South Atlantic.

    Jul 14, 2000
  • Coral Amendment 5

    Included in the Comprehensive Sustainable Fisheries Act Amendment. Addressed definitions and other required provisions of the Sustainable Fisheries Act in South Atlantic fishery management plans.

    Dec 2, 1999
  • Coral Amendment 3

    Established a separate fishery management plan for the South Atlantic, live rock aquaculture permit system, and various prohibitions.

    Jan 26, 1996
  • Coral Amendment 2

    Joint amendment with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. Provided definitions of live rock and allowable octocoral, established various prohibitions, and required permit for aquaculture operations.

    Dec 22, 1994
  • Coral Amendment 1

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

    Jan 7, 1991
  • Coral Fishery Management Plan

    Joint Fishery Management Plan with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. Restricted harvest of stony corals and sea fans and set optimum yield for octocorals.

    Jul 22, 1984