NOAA Fisheries Approves Coral Protections

Will set aside area on Georges Bank and in Gulf of Maine

Coral amendment

Purple Coral. Photo: NOAA

June 22, 2021 (BOSTON, MA) – Federal fishery managers have issued a new rule that will designate protected areas for fragile coral species on Georges Bank and in the Gulf of Maine. The final rule implementing the Deep Sea Coral Amendment was approved yesterday and new measures will be effective soon. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement in response.

“Fragile deep-sea corals play a critical role in the marine ecosystem and must be protected,” said CLF Senior Attorney Erica Fuller. “Coral provide essential habitat for many important commercial and recreational fish species, and they are highly vulnerable to disturbances with any damage taking decades or centuries to recover. This rule is a good step in protecting some corals in select areas, but more must be done to expand these protections in the Gulf of Maine.”

CLF experts are available for further comment.