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October 2015 MAINE COASTAL NEWS Page 13. Commercial Fishing News MISCELLANEOUS COMMERCIAL FISHING NEWS


design coral management zones in a way that balances conservation of vulnerable deep-sea animals with access for fi shing operations along the shallow, landward margins of the canyons. T rough its very public process, and using the expert techni- cal advice provided by its plan development team, the Council will consider diverse per- spectives and make use of the best scientifi c information available. Finally, I would like to speak about


the Council’s work on Cashes Ledge. T e Council has restricted fi shing activities in a 530 mi2


area for more than 15 years through


its Northeast Multispecies Fishery Manage- ment Plan. T e closure area was fi rst implemented


seasonally in 1999. T e area encompasses Cashes Ledge and the Ammen Rock Pin- nacle, Cashes Basin, Fippennies Ledge, and Sigsbee Ridge. In 2004, the Council adopted it as a long term closure to all fi shing gears that catch groundfi sh, and added an overlap- ping closure to all mobile bottom-tending gears on Cashes Ledge and Ammen Rock. During fi nal action on the EFH amend-


ment mentioned earlier, the Council voted to maintain the Cashes Ledge Closure Area as-is and went further, designating a new mobile bottom-tending gear closure on nearby Fippennies Ledge. In addition, the Council closed 6 mi2 around Ammen Rock to all of the fi shing activities it manages. T is includes closure to gears not currently re- stricted on Ammen Rock, such as mid-water trawls and recreational fi shing for ground- fi sh.


I make these comments to highlight


the fact that the rich and unique habitats of Cashes Ledge that have been well-described by others have been recognized and protect- ed by the New England Fishery Management Council for many years. Going forward, the Council will contin-


ue to evaluate the eff ectiveness of its manage- ment approaches for conserving unique and vulnerable marine habitats. I thank you for your time, and would be happy to answer any questions you might have about our work.


1 EFH Amendment proposed canyon


HAPCs, northeast to southwest: Heezen, Lydonia/Gilbert/Oceanographer, Hy- drographer, Veatch, Atlantis/Alvin, Hud- son, Toms/Middle Toms/Hendrickson, Wilmington, Baltimore, Washington, and Norfolk. T e canyons between Heezen and


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Alvin are within the New England region; those canyons south and west of Alvin (Hudson-Norfolk) are in the Mid-Atlantic region. Seamount HAPCs proposed in the EFH Amendment include Bear and Re- triever. Additional seamounts in the New England Seamount chain are deeper and do


not contain designated EFH. 2


T e additional coral zones that are not


designated as HAPCs include Nygren, Mun- son, Powell, Heel Tapper, and Welker can-


yons, and Mytilus and Physalia seamounts. 3


. This zone could have a landward


depth boundary starting at around 300-500 meters, and would potentially cover an area between 28,000-29,000 mi2


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