Priority Ocean Areas for Protection in the Mid-Atlantic
Findings of NRDC's Marine Habitat Workshop
POLYGON CH1 (Tilefish Habitat)
Rationale: biodiversity; also relevant for fisheries of the 18 managed fish species found
Seasons and depths important for protection: year-round; benthic
This area, between Cape May, New Jersey and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, (National Marine Fisheries Service [NMFS] fisheries statistical areas 616 and 537), and between the 100-meter and 250-meter isobaths, is important tilefish habitat. Year-round tilefish burrows in this area help to create a community of a wide variety of seasonal benthic species. It is also important for many other species. Commer-cially important species -- including a variety of flounders (summer, winter, witch), scup, black sea bass, hake, and squid -- use this as an overwintering area. This is already a recognized HAPC.
Note: This area falls entirely within Hoffs polygon TH1 (which is between the 80-meter and 400-meter isobaths).
National Marine Fisheries Service Northeast Fisheries Science Center. September 1999. Essential Fish Habitat Source Document: Tilefish (Lopholatilus chamaeleon-ticeps) Life History and Habitat Characteristics. U.S. Department of Commerce NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NE-152.
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