Map of coral essential fish habitat in the Gulf of Mexico.
EFH are designated by NOAA Fisheries and the regional fishery managment councils for species managed under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
EFH for coral consists of the total distribution of coral species and life stages throughout the Gulf of Mexico including the East and West Flower Garden Banks, Florida Middle Grounds, southwest tip of the Florida reef tract, and predominant patchy hard bottom offshore of Florida from approximately Crystal River south to the Keys, and scattered along the pinnacles and banks from Texas to Mississippi, at the shelf edge.
These maps and corresponding Geographic Information Systems (GIS) shapefile data represent EFH in the Gulf of Mexico. The 2005 Generic EFH Fishery Management Plan Amendment (see link below) should be consulted for specific information on habitats identified as EFH. Esri's ArcGIS software or Google Earth can be used to open GIS shapefiles. Google Earth can also be used to open zipped KML (KMZ) files to view the designated management areas. Click here to download Google Earth. Metadata (information about the GIS shapefile data) is available in XML or an easy-to-read HTML format.