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Alaska Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Fact Sheet

January 28, 2021

A fact sheet about essential fish habitat in Alaska.

In 1996, Congress added new habitat conservation provisions to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the federal law that governs U.S. marine fisheries management. The Magnuson-Stevens Act mandated the identification of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for managed species as well as measures to conserve and enhance the habitat necessary to fish to carry out their life cycles. The Magnuson-Stevens Act encourages cooperation among NMFS, the Council, fishing participants, Federal and state agencies, and others to conserve and enhance EFH.

The Magnuson-Stevens Act defines EFH as "those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding or growth to maturity" (16 U.S.C. 1802(10)). NOAA Fisheries further interprets EFH in the guidelines under 50 CFR 600 Subparts J and K.

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on 01/28/2021

Essential Fish Habitat