This amendment establishes 13 new habitat areas of particular concern with fishing regulations that prohibit deployment of bottom-tending gear and anchoring by fishing vessels. The new areas are: West Florida Wall, Alabama Alps Reef, L & W Pinnacles and Scamp Reef (combined area), Mississippi Canyon 118, Roughtongue Reef, Viosca Knoll 826, Viosca Knoll 862/906, AT 047, AT 357, Green Canyon 852, Southern Bank, Harte Bank, and Pulley Ridge South Portion A. A map of the areas and associated coordinates can be found here.
The amendment also designates 8 new areas without fishing regulations and modifies restrictions on existing Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPC) to prevent “deployment of” rather than “fishing with” bottom-tending gear.
The rule is effective as of November 16, 2020.