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Cold-water coral and hydroids as Essential Fish Habitat for Lappanella fasciata and Benthocometes robustus


Fish-habitat association is of paramount importance in ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management. “Essential Fish Habitats” (EFH) include areas that are either spawning and nursery grounds, provide specific feeding resources, shelter from predators and form part of a mitigation route (Benaka, 1999). The term was incited by the illegal requirement in the US to consider the effects of fishing on marine habitats that are critical for fish (the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, 1996). CWC habitats provide significant habitat for invertebrate species (Henry and Roberts, 2007), but their importance for fish populations has been questioned (Auster 2005, D’Onghia et al. 2012).