This definition appears somewhat frequently
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NOAA and the councils also identified more than 100 ?habitat areas of particular concern? or HAPCs. These are considered high priority areas for conservation, management, or research because they are rare, sensitive, stressed by development, or important to ecosystem function.
Oculina Habitat Area of Particular Concern In 1984, the South Atlantic Council recognized the special significance of the Oculina Bank habitat and designated the Oculina Bank as a Habitat Area of Particular Concern. This action closed a 92–square–kilometer (300 square miles) area to trawling, dredging, longlining, and trapping. Additional restrictions apply to anchoring and possession of rock shrimp and Oculina coral while in this area.
In addition to EFH, the MSA encourages Councils to designate habitat areas of particular concern (HAPCs). These are specific habitat areas, a subset of the much larger area identified as EFH, that play a particularly important ecological role in the fish life cycle or that are especially sensitive, rare, or vulnerable. Designating HAPCs allows managers to focus their attention on conservation priorities during review of proposals, gives those habitats extra management protection, and gives the fish species within HAPCs an extra buffer against adverse impacts.