AFS FHS Celebrates EFH at RAE8-TCS25 in NOLA
Can’t quite digest that over-sized serving of acronym soup? Let me translate as you need to know what your Fish Habitat Section (FHS) was up to earlier this month.
Our Section was asked last summer by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to sponsor a technical session and celebration of the 20th anniversary of the essential fish habitat (EFH) program. The December 12th event was part of the Restore America’s Estuaries/The Coastal Society (RAE/TCS) Summit in New Orleans (NOLA). A half-day of presentations focused on how the EFH program has helped to bridge the gap between management needs and research direction, and led nicely into the celebration. While the focus was on commercial and recreational marine species, discussions on how habitat supports fish populations has clear parallels to the challenges faced in freshwater and estuaries.
It was nice to see FHS featured in the Summit program as sponsor of this event. NOAA Fisheries habitat program director, Patricia Montanio, offered her personal thanks for our collective contributions to the field. For me, it was great to see fish habitat accorded such attention and to listen to a robust conversation about future directions. It was agreed that we would celebrate when we learn more about how habitat quantity and quality contributes directly to fish population health and harvests. I didn’t sign any contracts but I did say our Section hoped to join the broad-based EFH science and management team when they gather again.
FHS Section President, Policy Director at AFS headquarters, and NOAA Fisheries (retired)