A copper rockfish sits in the mud surrounded by white sea anenomes


Essential fish habitat is “those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity.” (Magnuson-Stevens Act)

The Council has direct responsibility for the effects of Council-managed fisheries on the essential fish habitat, or EFH, of our managed species. This responsibility includes identifying and describing EFH for the Council’s managed species, as well as both fishing and non-fishing impacts on habitat. These descriptions can be found in the Council’s fishery management plans (links below). They are updated roughly every five years.

The Council must also identify habitat areas of particular concern, which are a subset of EFH that highlight especially important habitat areas or types.

Finally, the Council is required to comment upon and make recommendations on activities it views as likely to “substantially affect the habitat, including EFH” of anadromous species (salmon) under its authority. For all other species’ EFH, the Council may make comments and recommendations. This includes commenting on activities that affect prey species, which are legally considered a component of EFH.

The Council’s Habitat Committee provides input into these EFH activities and alerts the Council to activities that might affect habitat. The Habitat Committee generates the Council’s comment letters on habitat issues.


Upcoming Council Meeting

Mar 3–9, 2020

Rohnert Park, CA

DoubleTree by Hilton Sonoma One Doubletree Drive Rohnert Park, CA 94928 Phone: 707-584-5466

Previous Council Meeting

Nov 14–20, 2019

Costa Mesa, CA

Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa 3050 Bristol StreetCosta Mesa, CA 92626 Phone: 714-540-7000


For information about essential fish habitat descriptions and updates, contact

Kerry Griffin

For information about the Habitat Committee, contact

Jennifer Gilden