Mar 24, 2016

Conserving Inshore Juvenile Cod Habitat via HAPCs. Key government and academic guidance documents

Habitat Area of Particular Concern, for Inshore Juvenile Atlantic Cod

Orange = Inshore juvenile cod HAPC.
Offshore coral canyon HAPCs not shown .
1. Contacts
2. Summary: What's an HAPC?
3. What are Land based impacts to HAPCs?
4. Selection process
5. Maps of 2 alternatives for inshore juvenile cod HAPC. (MLW to 20 meters is Council's preference
6. Land-based impacts to inshore juvenile Atlantic Cod HAPC
7. Research and conservation of inshore juvenile atlantic cod habitat area of particular concern

1.  Contacts  
Michelle Bachman NEFMC fishery analyst   978/465-0492 ext 120

*  Andy Applegate NEFMC Ecosystem based fishery management   (978) 465-0492 (ext. 114)  email:

* Ron Huber, Friends of Penobscot Bay 207-691-7485

2. Summary  Habitat Areas of Particular Concern 
HAPCs are being delineated in the waters around the American coasts. New England Fishery Management Council-delineated HAPCs are  specific marine locations that fishermen, academics, the New England Fishery Management Council NEFMC, NOAA and NGOs come to agreement  as being  particularly essential habitats during some point in the lives of the finfish and shellfish species that commercial and recreational marine fisheries capture.

NEFMC's Description of HAPCs "The intent of the habitat areas of particular concern designation is to identify those areas that are known to be important to species which are in need of additional levels of protection from adverse impacts, "Designation of habitat areas of particular concern is intended to determine what areas within EFH should receive more of the Council's and NMFS' attention when providing comments on federal and state actions, and in establishing higher standards to protect and/or restore such habitat".  NOAA's definition of Habitat Ares of Particular Concern 

3. Land based impacts to HAPC. 
 NOAA Tech Memo Impacts to Marine Fisheries Habitat from Nonfishing Activities  in the Northeastern United States

4. Selection Criteria  and decision matrix To become listed as an HAPC the location must meet  a majority of these criteria. See Habitat
1a. Importance of Historic Ecological Function 
1b. Importance of Current  Ecological Function
2.  Sensitivity to Anthropogenic Stresses
3.  Extent of Current or Future Development Stresses
4.  Rarity of the Habitat Type

4. Delineator. The New England Fishery Management Council is responsible for identifying HAPCs in the waters from Rhode Island to the Canadian border, from the low tide shores to the entire American EEZ portion of the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank, as well as the Nantucket Shoals south of Cape Cod 

Inshore Juvenile Atlantic Cod HAPC  
In 1999  NEFMC first concluded  that the shallow waters of New England meet all of the criteria except (4) Rarity of the habitat type. Evaluations since then have confirmed their earlier conclusions.  

The  Council found that the shallows of our New England coasts:
1a. Have well documented historic ecological functions for juvenile atlantic cod and their ecological partners,
1b. Have well documented  current ecological functions for juvenile atlantic cod and their ecological partners,
2. Are sensitive to anthropogenic stresses, such as  dredging, wastewater discharges, pesticide runoff
3. Are under stress from development, with more development pressures anticipated.
4. Are a common habitat type. Maine has more than 5,000 miles of shoreline, the amount within 65 feet of shore must be a large number of square miles

In 2004 the council prepared a review of the known habitat needs of inshore juvenile atlantic cod 
In 2006  the council  examined the inshore juvenile cod HAPC and looked at other  HAPC proposals aroudn the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank (72pg pdf)
In 2013 the NEFMC DEIS on HAPCs refined its proposal for the Juvenile Atlantic Cod Habitat Area of Particular Concern 

Alternatives: The Council set two alternatives. These are: mean low water to either the 10 meter  or 20 meter depth contour,. The Council's preferred alternative is the 20 meter depth contour alternative   

Note: Friends of Penobscot Bay supports the low water to 10 meter depth contour as most vulnerable to landbased impacts, as well as easy to delineate. FOPB feels that 20 meter depth contour covers habitats so much  less impacted as to be 

Map of 2014 New England inshore juvenile cod HAPC juvcod_map.jpg  2000 to present

Alternative inshore juvenile cod HAPC map  0 to 10 meters    closeup of the ten meter alternative

Reports and research relevant to the inshore Juvenile Atlantic cod HAPC & HAPCs generally

*   Read 2016 presentation on offshore corals protection  given by Michelle Bachmann of NEFMC at the 2016 Maine Fishermen's Forum. (pdf)

List of  landbased threats to inshore juvenile atlantic cod   Text version of list

HAPC guidance on Human Activities that Impact Fish Habitat.- MidAtlantic Fishery Mgmt Council

Impacts to Marine Fisheries Habitat from Non-fishing activities in the NE US

Hatchling cod need soft microplankton for first food  GLOBEC 1998
 * Text version Scott M. Gallager, Jeff Van Keuren and Phillip Alatalo. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.1998

Spatial Distribution of Ages 0 and 1 Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) off the Eastern Massachusetts Coast, 1978-1999, Relative to ‘Habitat Area of Special Concern’ (based on inshore trawl surveys)

Proposal to Establish a Marine Sanctuary in Midcoast Maine. 1989. Part 1  Part Two

No comments: