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Welcome to the Data Inventory for the Essential Fish Habitat Mapper!

Habitats provide the basic needs of living things including food, water, and shelter throughout an organism's life cycle. Fish habitat is where they live either permanently or temporarily. In many instances human impacts have depleted the habitats that are essential for American fisheries. Within the United States, there are approximately 1000 federal managed species for which essential fish habitat (EFH) has been designated. The Data Inventory allows quick access to geospatial habitat information of the species currently mapped in the Essential Fish Habitat Mapper.

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires federal agencies to consult with the Secretary of Commerce, through NOAA, with respect to "any action authorized, funded, or undertaken, or proposed to be authorized, funded, or undertaken, by such agency that may adversely affect any essential fish habitat identified under this Act." 16 U.S.C. § 1855(2). Pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, each fishery management plan (FMP) must identify and describe EFH for the managed fishery, and the statute defines EFH as "those waters and substrates necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding or growth to maturity." 16 U.S.C. § 1853(a)(7) and § 1802(10). NOAA’s regulations further define EFH by specifying that "necessary" means "the habitat required to support a sustainable fishery and the managed species contribution to a healthy ecosystem." 50 C.F.R. § 600.10.

For more information on how to use the Data Inventory, or for technical questions related to its content, contact

For more information on EFH identifications, descriptions, and locations in your region, please contact the appropriate NOAA Fisheries Regional EFH Coordinator.

Link to the EFH Mapper

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