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Environment

New Coral Protections Coming To Areas Off New England

Map of the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank
NOAA Fisheries
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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
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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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