During the last decade, the importance of identifying, designating and protecting Essential Fish Habitats (EFH) has been widely recognized. EFH mapping and designation applies to the spatial component of Fisheries Management, a component that has often been neglected in previously enforced fisheries policies.The new framework regulation on the European Communities Common Fisheries Policy requires the proper introduction of habitat identification and protection into developing new fishery policies.
The EnviEFH project is based on the latest advances in EFH mapping and identification, which are characterized by a broad approach to EFH designation including all the physical, chemical and biological properties of marine areas and the associated sediment and biological assemblages that sustain fish populations throughout the various stages of their life cycle. Under the ecosystem approach to fisheries management, species life history information is introduced in an integrated EFH mapping effort including the mapping of ocean production processes, species spawning, nursery and feeding aggregations, over-exploited areas and alternative fishing grounds under the specialized development of the comprehensive EFH Designation Too.
The overall objective of the EnviEFH project is to facilitate the spatial component of fisheries management, which primarily includes the proper designation of Essential Fish Habitats and their protection through new fisheries policies.