Presentation on theme: "Habitat mapping needs under the EFH provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act David Stevenson, NOAA Fisheries Service Chad Demarest, New England Fishery Mgmt."— Presentation transcript:
Habitat mapping needs under the EFH provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act David Stevenson, NOAA Fisheries Service Chad Demarest, New England Fishery Mgmt Council
Goals of Fishery Management Controlling fishing activity to affect how it: 1.modifies the size and production potential of exploited resource populations; 2.modifies the environments capacity to support productive/sustainable resource populations and ecosystems.
Habitat maps needed for fishery management So, question is, what kind of maps do fishery managers need in order to manage habitat impacts of fishing and other human activities? In an ideal world, need to know what habitat features enhance productivity, and how, how those features are affected by different kinds of human-induced (and natural) disturbance, and where they are located. Goal is to maximize resource productivity, not to restore pristine environments: maximum production is associated with some level of habitat disturbance
It is therefore declared to be the purposes of the Congress in this Act...to promote the protection of essential fish habitat in the review of projects conducted under Federal permits, licenses, or other authorities that affect or have the potential to affect such habitat. Sustainable Fisheries Act, 1996 R. Cooper; OAR/National Undersea Research Program (NURP); University of Connecticut OAR/National Undersearch Research Program (NURP) R. Cooper; OAR/National Undersea Research Program (NURP); University of Connecticut at Avery Point
Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity. Sustainable Fisheries Act, 1996
EFH Definitions Waters include aquatic areas and their associated physical, chemical, and biological properties that are used by fish. Substrate includes sediment, hard bottom, structures underlying the water, and associated biological communities. Necessary means the habitat required to support a sustainable fishery and the managed species contribution to a healthy ecosystem.
EFH PROVISIONS of SFA The Fishery Management Councils must describe and identify EFH for managed species, evaluate the effects of fishing on EFH, minimize to the extent practicable adverse effects on EFH caused by fishing, and identify other actions to encourage the conservation and enhancement of EFH Federal agencies must consult with NOAA Fisheries Service on any actions that may adversely effect EFH
More definitions Adverse effect means any impact that reduces quality and/or quantity of EFH. Adverse effects may include direct or indirect physical, chemical, or biological alterations [of habitat] and loss of, or injury to, benthic organisms, prey species and their habitats, and other ecosystem components…
Minimize adverse effects of fishing The Fishery Management Councils must describe and identify EFH for managed species, minimize to the extent practicable adverse effects on EFH caused by fishing, and identify other actions to encourage the conservation and enhancement of EFH
NOAA consultations on projects that may adversely affect EFH
Thresholds for Mgmt Action Councils must minimize to the extent practicable adverse effects on EFH caused by fishing IF there is evidence that a fishing activity adversely affects EFH in a manner that is more than minimal and not temporary in nature. Where temporary impacts are those that are limited in duration and that allow the particular environment to recover without measurable impact and minimal impacts are those that may result in relatively small changes in the affected environment and insignificant changes in ecological functions.
EFH Final Rule Response to comments The rule advocates a risk-averse approach to identifying EFH because of the uncertainty of our knowledge of habitat and its relation to fisheries production. The final rule also clarifies that if sufficient information is available, EFH should be identified as the habitats supporting the highest relative abundance; growth, reproduction, or survival rates; and/or production rates within the geographic range of a species.
EFH Final Rule Response to comments It is not appropriate to require definitive proof of a link between fishing impacts to EFH and reduced stock productivity before Councils can take action to minimize adverse fishing impacts to EFH to the extent practicable.
Level 1: Distribution data are available for some or all portions of the geographic range of the species –Level 2: Habitat-related densities of the species are available –Level 3: Growth, reproduction, or survival rates within habitats are available –Level 4: Production rates by habitat are available EFH Final Rule requirements for designating EFH
EFH Designation Components –EFH Text Descriptions describe the types of habitat and physical characteristics (sediment, depth, temperature, salinity, etc.) that comprise the EFH for a given life stage and species. –EFH Maps identify, within the constraints of available information, the geographic locations of EFH or the geographic boundaries within which EFH…is found."
Example EFH Alternative 3 Cumulative NEFSC Survey Catch Rate Habitat Layer Restriction to Next Highest Cumulative Catch Rate Sediment composition Spring and Fall Temperature Spring and Fall Bottom Depth Inshore State Frequency of Occurrence Data Off-Shelf Depth Range Preferred juvenile winter flounder EFH alternative (3E)
Juvenile Winter Flounder EFH: Old vs. New Status Quo/CurrentNew Preferred Alternative
Fisheries Mgmt Uses of EFH Enhancing resource productivity is, ideally, the goal of habitat management, but current state of knowledge/information limits use of EFH designations to broader, less-defined, habitat protection goals. NOAA consultations on impacts of non-fishing activities are currently the #1 way in which EFH is used operationally, especially since stock re- building strategies have reduced fishing effort in groundfish fishery.
Fisheries Mgmt Uses of EFH Amendments 10 and 13 to Scallop and Multispecies FMPs (2003/2004) established seven habitat closed areas (2800 sq miles) to minimize the adverse effects of mobile, bottom-tending gear on EFH This established baseline for measuring impacts of more recent management actions NEFMC currently engaged in development of Omnibus EFH Amendment that will re-visit measures needed to minimize impacts of fishing on EFH for NEFMC managed species
Species Managed by NEFMC American plaice Atlantic cod Atlantic halibut Atlantic herring Atlantic salmon Atlantic sea scallop Barndoor skate Clearnose skate Deep-sea red crab Haddock Little skate Monkfish Ocean pout Offshore hake Pollock Red hake Redfish Rosette skate Silver hake Smooth skate Thorny skate White hake Windowpane flounder Winter flounder Witch flounder Yellowtail flounder
Other uses of habitat maps for fisheries management? Identify areas that are suitable for stock enhancement (e.g., scallops) Improve stock assessments by targeting surveys to appropriate bottom habitats Identify appropriate areas for marine reserves Furthering ecosystem-based management (get away from single species approach) Maps may not look the same in all cases!
Whats next for EFH? Habitat descriptions and maps that are based on ways in which species – or groups of species with similar habitat requirements – use/rely on habitats (i.e., level 3 or 4 information that links habitat use with growth and survival, or with resource production) Maps that are based on location of EFH, not abundance/distribution of the fish Will require better maps and more research to identify functional uses of habitat by managed species