This action implements approved regulations for the New England Fishery Management Council’s Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2. This rule revises essential fish habitat and habitat area of particular concern designations, revises or creates habitat management areas, including gear restrictions, to protect vulnerable habitat from fishing gear impacts, establishes dedicated habitat research areas, and implements several administrative measures related to reviewing these measures, as well as other regulatory adjustments to implement these measures. This action is necessary to comply with the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to periodically review essential fish habitat designations and protections. The measures are designed to minimize to the extent practicable the adverse effects of fishing on essential fish habitat.

Final Rule

OHA2 Decision Letter: NMFS to NEFMC (January 3, 2018)

Notice of Availability (October 6, 2017)

170327 NEFMC to GARFO - Deeming Regulations

Volume I - Executive summary, Background and purpose, and Description of the affected environment
Volume II - EFH and HAPC Designation Alternatives and Environmental Impacts
Volume III - Spatial management alternatives including preferred alternatives and considered but rejected alternatives
Volume IV - Environmental impacts of spatial management alternatives on habitat, human community, and protected resources
Volume V - Environmental impacts of spatial management alternatives on managed resources and fisheries
Volume VI - Cumulative effects, compliance and applicable law, and references
Appendix A - EFH designation methodologies
Appendix B - EFH supplementary tables, prey species information, and spawning information
Appendix C - EFH designation map representations as approved in June 2007, with corrections
Appendix D - The Swept Area Seabed Impact (SASI) approach: a tool for analyzing the effects of fishing on Essential Fish Habitat
Appendix E - Synopsis of Closed Area Technical Team analysis of juvenile groundfish habitats and groundfish spawning areas
Appendix F - Modeling juvenile Atlantic cod and yellowtail flounder abundance on Georges Bank and in the Gulf of Maine using 2-stage generalized additive models
Appendix G - Nonfishing impacts to Essential Fish Habitat
Volume H - Prey Vulnerability
Volume I - Information to Support Updates to Winter Flounder EFH Designations

Omnibus Habitat Amendment 2 Public Comments and Hearing Summaries