Habitat and Communities: Google Earth® Maps

The link below allows you to access Google Earth® zipped keyhole markup (*.kmz) files related to Council developed management measures.  Most of the files show coordinates and lines describing various groundfish area closures.    These closed areas are mapped using waypoints published by NMFS (see NMFS Groundfish Closed Areas webpage) and associated boundary schedules.  Depictions of these area closures may be revised from time to time based on regulation changes described in NMFS notices.

The kmz files have to be downloaded or launched from the Council’s FTP Site.  These files are currently available:

  • GCA_nonRCA.kmz displays Cowcod Conservation Areas (CCAs) in the Southern California Bight and Essential Fish Habitat conservation areas as polygons.
  • Nontrawl RCA (all year 2013-14).kmz displays the nontrawl RCA, which has the same configuration year round.
  • RCA_Latitude_Boundaries.kmz represents the latitudes at which RCA boundaries may change from the approximation of one depth contour to another.
  • Trawl_RCA_2015_(May-Aug) displays the trawl RCA waypoints and boundary lines for May through August during the 2015-2016 biennial period.
  • Trawl_RCA_2015_(Sep-Apr) displays the trawl RCA waypoints and boundary lines for September through April during the 2015-2016 biennial period.
  • West_Coast_EEZ.kmz displays an approximation of the boundary of the west coast Exclusive Economic Zone.
  • wc_Fishing_Communities.kmz displays the locations of fishing communities and fishing ports identified by the National Marine Fisheries Service Northwest Fisheries Science Center Publication,  Community Profiles of West Coast and North Pacific Fisheries, and in the Pacific Fishery Information Network (PacFIN) database maintained by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Note: Please install Google Earth first to view these files.  If you don’t have it installed, you may download a copy of the software from Google’s website to install on your computer.

You may then either save one or more files to your local drive and then open them with Google Earth® or launch a particular file of interest.  Only features associated with opened files are displayed (likely found in your Temporary Places folder). Check/uncheck folders to change which features to view.  Click on the folder name to view a description of the folder contents.

Google Earth® allows you to view the depth profile for a selected line.  First, in the Places pane right-click on a line folder and choose Properties, Altitude and choose “Relative to seafloor” from the list. Click OK to exit the dialog. Right click the line folder again and choose Show Elevation Profile.  A panel is displayed at the bottom of the window showing a profile of the depths along the line.

You may also be interested in the U.S. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) interactive mapping tools.

For further information regarding the above maps and Google Earth files, please contact Dr. Kit Dahl, at 503-820-2280 ext. 422; or toll free 1-866-806-7204.