Fishery Management Plan and Amendments: FMP: Amendment 19

Essential Fish Habitat Designation and Minimization of Adverse Impacts

May 2006

The Council approved FMP Amendment 19 and submitted it to NMFS for review on November 23, 2005. NMFS partially approved the amendment on March 8, 2006. Two provisions were disapproved: (1) the designation of specified oil rigs in Southern Califorina as habitat areas of particular concern (HAPCs) and (2) the prohibition of bottom trawling in areas not designated essential fish habitat (EFH) (i.e., waters deeper than 3,500 m).

There is substantial overlap between the parts of the FMP addressed by Amendment 18 (bycatch mitigation) and Amendment 19. For this reason, a combined document incorporates both Amendment 18 and Amendment 19 changes.

The preface to the draft amendatory language explains and guides the reader through the proposed changes. The preferred alternative is incorporated into the FMP in the following sections:

Element of Preferred Alternative Section in FMP Amendment
Identify and Describe EFH 7.2
HAPCs 7.3
Designation of HAPCs 7.3.1.1-7.3.1.6
Process for modifying existing or designating new HAPCs 7.3.2
Minimize Adverse Impacts to EFH 7.4
Prohibit expansion of bottom trawl fishing 6.8.6
Gear restrictions to protect habitat 6.6.1
Close ecologically important areas to specified gear types 6.8.5
Effort reduction 6.9.4
Review of mitigation efforts 6.2.4
Research and Monitoring 7.7