Gulf rigs, structures on track to become Essential Fish Habitat

Gulf Council begins process to properly recognize value of artificial reefs

Posted on April 23, 2012

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX - A request to have the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council begin the process of classifying rigs and other vital artificial reefs as Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) was unanimously approved by the Council at its April meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas. Dr. Bob Shipp, Council member from Alabama and chairman of the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama, made the motion as part of an effort to protect those structures from a 2010 federal directive to summarily remove all non-producing energy structures within five years of the issuance of that directive. 

“This action sets in motion an amendment process that could be huge in the battle to save these structures, many of which are covered in tons of living coral and form the basis of thriving ecosystems,” said Pat Murray, CCA president. “We greatly appreciate Dr. Shipp for bringing this important issue to the Gulf Council to emphasize how important these structures are to the marine environment, and to anglers and divers.”
 
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