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Impacts to Essential Fish Habitat from Non-Fishing Activities in Alaska

June 16, 2023

EFH 5-Year Review: 2018 through 2023. This report introduces an ecosystem-based approach to this key feature.

Alaska extends over Arctic, subarctic, and temperate climate zones. Four recognized Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) exist in these climate zones. A total of seventeen coastal zones are identified within the nearshore and coastal zones. Eight terrestrial ecoregions are defined above the high tide line to interior Alaska. Water, the most important essential fish habitat (EFH) feature, moves through all of these ecoregions and habitat types. The Impacts to Essential Fish Habitat from Non-Fishing Activities in Alaska report (Non-Fishing Impacts Report) is a NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Region led initiative, through its Habitat Conservation Division, to improve the Federal consultation process and improve public awareness to support proactive habitat conservation and enhancement. This report includes:

•  A compilation and review of non-fishing impacts to EFH (see also Appendix A);
•  A review of climate change indicators and impacts to EFH; and
•  Conservation recommendations to mitigate non-fishing impacts and climate change effects on EFH.
•  Descriptions of EFH attributes (Section 1.4, EFH Attributes) and ecosystem processes that support fish;

Non-fishing impacts are anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity, direct or indirect, involving overexploitation of natural resources; habitat modification, conversion, and fragmentation; the introduction of exotic (nonnative) species; and pollution (Steffen et al. 2011, Sponsel 2013, Lewis and Maslin 2015). The purpose of this report is to guide understanding of the potential adverse effects of non-fishing activities on EFH and provide conservation recommendations to avoid and minimize those effects.

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on 06/21/2023

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