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New Coral Protections Coming To Areas Off New England

Map of the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank
NOAA Fisheries
NOAA Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank map

Federal regulators have signed off on new protections for thousands of square miles of deep-sea corals off New England.

NOAA map of Gulf of Maine, and deep-water sea coral protection plan
Credit NOAA Fisheries
NOAA map representing the Omnibus Deep-Sea Coral Amendment.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday it has approved a final rule that designates the coral protection areas on Georges Bank and in the Gulf of Maine.

The largest of the underwater areas is called the Georges Bank Deep-Sea Coral Protection Area and it is located mostly southeast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

NOAA officials say the protected zone places prohibitions on bottom-tending commercial fishing gear, with the exception of certain kinds of crab traps.

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