New regulations to expand protections for seafloor habitats, reopen fishing grounds off US West Coast

Date: December 4, 2019

Source: Mongabay

New regulations for essential fish habitat off the West Coast of the United States that go into effect in 2020 will extend protections for deep-sea habitats and corals while reopening fishing grounds where fish populations have rebounded.

The new rules were finalized by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (known as NOAA Fisheries) last month, and will go into effect on January 1, 2020. The updated regulations were recommended to NOAA by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and enjoy broad support from the fishing industry and environmentalists alike. The changes will be implemented via an amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for groundfish off the US West Coast.

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