This omnibus action would establish a new Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) in Southern New England and be added as a framework adjustment to the groundfish, scallop, monkfish, skate, and Atlantic herring plans.

HAPCs support the development of conservation measures through the Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) consultation process by providing focal locations and habitat types where the Council recommends an especially hard look at the impacts of federally permitted activities. HAPCs do not directly restrict fishing or non-fishing ocean activities. Rather, they strongly encourage actions to avoid, minimize, or mitigate impacts on habitats within HAPCs. HAPCs provide a clear indication of the value the Council places on specific habitat types and functions and underscore recommendations to protect such habitats from impacts.

Southern New England HAPC Preliminary Submission – August 22, 2022