skip to main content | skip to footer
North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - N.C. Coastal Habitats

Marine Fisheries

Cape Lookout Lighthouse
Hard Bottom Shell Bottom Soft Bottom Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Water Column Wetlands
North Carolina's Coastal Habitat Protection Plan recognizes six habitats crucial to coastal fishery species. These six habitats occur within an area covering 2.5 million acres of water and coastal wetlands, including the largest estuarine system of any coastal state on the eastern seaboard. These habitats represent areas where coastal fishery species forage, seek refuge, grow, or spawn.
 

North Carolina's Fish Habitats:

 
Hard Bottom Soft Bottom Shell Bottom
Submerged Aquatic Vegetation
Water Column Wetlands

What's the Problem?

As a whole, North Carolina's estuarine and coastal waters are showing signs of habitat degradation and loss (lack of recovery of certain fishery species despite reduced harvest, increasing shellfish harvest closures in Outstanding Resource Waters, large number of impaired waters, frequent fish kills, and negative changes in ecosystem structure).

Fish Habitats are Interdependent

Often fish use multiple habitats over their lifetime. In fact some fish use multiple habitats in a single day, and its not too hard to imagine a fish using all these habitats in the same day. This mobility between habitats that fish demonstrate means that to protect North Carolina's fishery resources we cannot simply protect one habitat. We must protect them all.

More than Fish

Not only are coastal fisheries threatened, but also coastal economies built around a high quality natural environment. Timely action is required because preventing a problem is often much less costly than fixing one.

Web Content Display javax.portlet.title.56
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

NC logo

38337 FEEDBACK

Your input is valuable to us. Please send us your feedback.

What type of feedback would you like to send?*

Ask a Question Report a Problem Have a Concern Make a Comment

(If you would like us to respond please include your phone or e-mail.)

Your Question has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Problem has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Concern has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Comment has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

*If you are a DENR employee with an I.T. issue, please submit a DOTS ticket.