Report | June 2, 2017

Essential Fish Habitats Protection. Rebuilding EU fish stocks by 2020 under the Common Fisheries Policy

What is an Essential Fish Habitat?

An Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) is a habitat identifi ed as crucial to the ecological and biological requirements for the critical life cycle of exploited fi sh species, and which may require special protection to improve stock status and long-term sustainability. In particular, EFH refers to the waters and substrate necessary for fi sh to spawn, breed or feed.

Examples of EFH include:

  • Spawning grounds: areas with a high concentration of mature females.
  • Nursery grounds: areas where the highest concentrations of juvenile fi sh are found.
  • Migration corridors: pathways, used by highly mobile species throughout their lifecycle, (such as from the spawning ground to the nursery ground).
  • Feeding grounds/ Foraging grounds: areas, where increased feeding activity takes place.