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Essential Fish Habitat in Santa Monica Bay, San Pedro Bay, and San Diego Bay: A Reference Guide for Managers

by Robbins, Erika A.

Abstract (Summary)
The Sustainable Fisheries Act established as one of its mandates for regional fishery management councils and the National Marine Fisheries Service a requirement to identify and protect Essential Fish Habitat. The Act defines Essential Fish Habitat as “those waters and substrates necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding and growth to maturity.” 16 U.S.C. § 1802(10). To promote the protection of Essential Fish Habitat, the Act establishes interagency consultation between the National Marine Fisheries Service and federal agencies that fund, authorize, or undertake action that may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat. For their part in the interagency consultation process, the National Marine Fisheries Service is required to provide Essential Fish Habitat Conservation Recommendations, and, if appropriate, in an expedited manner. The time required to develop proper Essential Fish Habitat Conservation Recommendations can be extensive because managers do not always have access to sufficient information and the scale of Essential Fish Habitat descriptions is larger than the scale of most projects. To facilitate accurate abbreviated assessment of projects and proper Essential Fish Habitat Conservation Recommendations, I have developed an Essential Fish Habitat Reference Guide. This guide is specific to the fish and habitats found in Southern California’s three largest bays: Santa Monica Bay, San Pedro Bay, and San Diego Bay. I synthesized the information contained within this guide from documents traditionally used to support the creation of Essential Fish Habitat Conservation Recommendations. Managers can use the Essential Fish Habitat Reference Guide for interagency consultations when the predicted impact to Essential Fish Habitat is minimal; actions with larger impacts need higher levels of scrutiny. The Reference Guide provides habitat and Essential Fish Habitat descriptions that are on the same, or similar scale, as the projects of federal action agencies. The Habitat Conservation Division of the National Marine Fisheries Service Southwest Regional Office has used draft versions of this guide.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Eckert, Scott

School:Duke University

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:sustainable fisheries act national marine service nmfs reference guide

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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