Good news in the fight to help protect corals reefs in the USA. Last week, a critical step was taken to protect coral reefs in the Mid-Atlantic states of the USA. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved an amendment to protect deep sea corals from the impacts of bottom-tending fishing gear in the Mid-Atlantic. The council is responsible for the conservation and management of fishery resources within the federal 200-mile limit of the Atlantic off the coasts of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.
However, amendment still needs to be If approved by the Secretary of Commerce. If approved, the amendment will create “deep sea coral zones” in areas where corals have been observed or where they are likely to occur. Fishermen will not be allowed to use any type of bottom-tending fishing gear such as trawls, dredges, bottom longlines, and traps in the identified areas. In total, proposed area for deep sea coral zone designation encompass more than 38,000 square miles – an area nearly the size of Virginia. More