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Welcome to the NEW 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 includes any aquatic ecosystem where the organism can live either permanently or temporarily. In many instances human impacts have depleted the habitats that are essential for American fisheries. Within the US there are 1000 federal managed species for which EFH has been designated. The Data Inventory allows quick access to geospatial habitat information of these species currently mapped in the Essential Fish Habitat Mapper.

The 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 Essential Fish Habitat (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 adding, among other things, 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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