Essential Fish Habitat: An Ecosystem Approach
Poster graphically depicting Essential Fish Habitat
Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) is defined as the physical, biological and chemical characteristics necessary to support fish for feeding, spawning, breeding, and growth to maturity. Many key Ecosystem Processes (EFH Attributes) interact in water to support our fisheries. EFH is not just hard substrate and structure, such as coral, rocks, kelps, and sea grasses. While substrates influence the physical characteristics of seafloors, watersheds, and associated vegetation, ecosystem processes influence the physical characteristics of the water and habitat(e.g. water quality, quantity, temperature; dissolved gases; and bio-chemical interactions) that support food chains and fish survival, and promote sustainable fisheries.