Home > Explore Data & Reports > An Assessment of Fisheries Species to Inform Time-of-Year Restrictions for North Carolina and South Carolina

Citation:

Wickliffe, L.C., F.C. Rohde, K.L. Riley, and J.A. Morris, Jr. 2019. An Assessment of Fisheries Species to Inform Time-of-Year Restrictions for North Carolina and South Carolina. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 263. Beaufort, NC. 268 pp. doi:10.25923/7xdd-nw91

Data/Report Type:

NOAA Technical Memorandum

Description

Environmental windows or moratoria are used by federal and state regulators in resource management to temporarily reduce adverse environmental impacts associated with coastal development. Moratoria are seasonal restrictions on construction activities to protect migrations of fish, sensitive life stages of aquatic organisms, and threatened and endangered species. Broad categories of coastal development activities that may benefit from application of moratoria include, but are not limited to: pile driving, mining, dredging, fill, water impoundment, energy development, transportation infrastructure, and water diversions. A prominent concern among many is that the use of moratoria as a management tool can have significant cost implications (e.g., restricted work periods, prolonged projects) for the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Highway Administration, private contractors, and state and local sponsors. This report responds to a vital need to use the best available science to inform environmental policies and standardize regulations for moratoria. This publication provides a review of the life history and spatiotemporal distribution of 13 managed fish and crustacean species to protect associated fisheries and habitats and minimize negative impacts of coastal development. The life history reviews include recent biological data and distribution information. This report and associated data products (maps, infographics) are intended to help coastal managers make timely decisions regarding authorization of coastal development activities. The report can help normalize environmental reviews and mitigation of impacts to federally managed species, essential fish habitat (EFH), Endangered Species Act-listed species and their associated critical habitats. The NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and others may use information in this document when developing conservation recommendations for specific actions to protect natural resources. Further, the report may be used directly in environmental review and preparation of documents to satisfy the National Environmental Policy Act.

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