Essential Fish Habitat Map Submission Process

What is Essential Fish Habitat?

In this project we adopt the European definition of Essential Fish Habitat (STECF, 2006*) aligned with the Common Fisheries Policy recommendations for Fish Stock Recovery Areas (EU Regulation No 1380/2013), i.e. nursery and spawning areas of exploited fish species. Nonetheless, where available, maps of other important EFHs such as “migration corridors” and “Feeding grounds/foraging grounds” will also be integrated, giving a broader overview of the complexity of EFH.

For the purposes of EMODnet the following types of Essential Fish Habitat are accepted:

  • Spawning grounds – areas where there is clear evidence of spawning areas.
  • Nursery grounds – areas where there is clear evidence of heavy concentrations of fish below minimum conservation reference size
  • Feeding grounds – marine areas where there is clear evidence of feeding aggregations.
  • Migration corridors – routes used by highly mobile species during their lifecycle

* STECF. (2006). Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries opinion on ‘Sensitive and essential fish habitats in the Mediterranean Sea’ (p. 48) [Commission staff working paper].

How to submit Essential Fish Habitat maps to EMODnet

To contribute data to EMODnet Seabed Habitats, the data must be in a standardised ingestible format to allow it to be combined with datasets from other organisations.

The steps to follow when submitting Essential Fish Habitat maps to EMODnet Seabed Habitats are explained in the

EMODnet Guide for Submitted EFH maps

Also provided is the

Complete Data Provider Package

Which contains the following files:

  1. Shapefile template for Essential Fish Habitat map
  2. Shapefile template for Study Area bounding box
  3. Excel template for Confidence Assessment score sheet
  4. XML template for INSPIRE-compliant metadata
  5. Word template for Data Provider Agreement

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us