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Proactive Conservation Program: Species of Concern

Species of Concern List | Grants and Technical Resources/Links

Species of Concern are those species about which we have some concerns regarding status and threats, but for which insufficient information is available to indicate a need to list the species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We wish to draw proactive attention and conservation action to these species. "Species of concern" status does not carry any procedural or substantive protections under the ESA.

Species of Concern List

The Species of Concern list:

Fact sheets for each species are provided on the links below. Note: Species of concern can also be "candidate species".

Species Candidate Area of Concern
Yes Gulf of Mexico-AL, FL, anadromous
  Atlantic-Newfoundland to North Carolina
(Not warranted for listing 12-month finding, Aug 2013, 78 FR 48943)
  Western Atlantic, Eastern Atlantic, and Mediterranean stocks
  Atlantic-Labrador to southern New England
  Atlantic-Georges Bank and western Gulf of Maine
(former "candidate species" - 2009)
  Pacific-Eastern North Pacific population
  Atlantic-Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, to St. John's River, FL
(Not warranted for listing 12-month finding, Aug 2013, 78 FR 48943)
  Pacific-Southern DPS (Northern CA to Mexico)*
  Indo-Pacific-Red Sea and East Africa to the Line Islands and Samoa; north to Yaeyama, south to the Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia; Paulau, Caroline, Mariana in Micronesia; in U.S. it occurs in Guam, American Samoa, CNMI and the Pacific Remote Island Areas (Wake Islands). (Not warranted for listing 12-month finding, Nov 2012, 77 FR 66799).
  Pacific-Central Valley, fall and late fall-run ESU
  Pacific-Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia ESU; anadromous.
  Pacific-Central OR to central Baja California and Guadalupe Island, Mexico
  • cusk
    (Brosme brosme)
Yes Atlantic-Gulf of Maine
(Candidate species as of 03/09/2007 [pdf]; 72 FR 10710)
  Atlantic; Gulf of Mexico; Pacific (Northwest Atlantic DPS Not warranted for listing 12-month finding, Dec 2014, 79 FR 74684)
  Pacific- Point Concepcion, CA to Bahia de Magdalena, Gulf of CA, Mexico
  Pacific-northern DPS* (including coastal spawning populations from the Eel River north, to the Klamath rivers); anadromous
Pacific- Hawaii (Kaneohe Bay, Midway Atoll, Maro Reef)
(Not warranted for listing 12-month finding, Sept 2014, 79 FR 53852)
Indo-Pacific-Red Sea to the Tuamotus, north to the Ryukyus, east to Wake Islands, south to New Caledonia, throughout Micronesia; includes U.S. territories of Guam and American Samoa
(Not warranted for listing 12-month finding, Sept 2014, 79 FR 57875)
  Pacific- Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay
  Atlantic- West Indies, Bermuda, NC, FL, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean
  Atlantic-Florida Keys
  Atlantic-FL, estuarine
  Atlantic-NC southward to Gulf of Mexico
(Listed as Threatened under the ESA; 81 FR 42268, 06/29/2016)
  Atlantic-Florida (Indian River Lagoon)
  Salish Sea population, WA, Canada
  Pacific-Georgia Basin DPS
  Pacific- Point Concepcion, CA to Bahia de Tortuga, Gulf of CA, Mexico
  Pacific- Sitka Island, Alaska to Baja California, Mexico. (Not warranted for listing 12-month finding, Dec 2014, 79 FR 77998).
  Atlantic-Labrador to NJ; anadromous
  North Pacific Ocean and adjacent parts of the Arctic Ocean*
  Atlantic; Gulf of Mexico
  Atlantic-NC to Gulf of Mexico
(Negative 90-day finding for ESA-Listing; 77 FR 25687)
  Pacific-OR Coast ESU; anadromous
  Atlantic-FL, Antilles and Caribbean from Costa Rica to Guyana
  Atlantic-MA southward to Gulf of Mexico
(Negative 90-Day Finding of Petition to List Warsaw Grouper; 75 FR 59690)

* NMFS reviewed the status of this species as a result of a petition to list it under the Endangered Species Act. While ESA listing was determined to not be warranted, NMFS retained this species on the Species of Concern list.

Former Species of Concern(SOC)

The following species were removed from Species of Concern list because they were either listed under the Endangered Species Act(ESA) or concerned about their status were removed because of new information and completion of a Species of Concern status report.


Species of Concern
Current Status

*Endangered - Gulf of Maine DPS; (74 FR 29344 [pdf],
*formally 1998
*5 DPSs listed:
-New York Bight
-Chesapeake Bay
-South Atlantic
-Gulf of Maine

(Southeast DPSs: 77 FR 5914[pdf], 02/06/2012;
Northeast DPSs: 77 FR 5880, 02/06/2012)
1999-2010 Removed from Species of Concern list on 02/02/2010
1988-2008 *Endangered - Cook Inlet DPS
(73 FR 62919 [pdf],
1999-2009   *Endangered
(74 FR 1937 [pdf], 01/14/2009)
1999-2011 *Endangered
(76 FR 40822 [pdf]; 07/12/2011)
1997-2010 *Decision Memo [pdf]
 2006-2016 Removed from Species of Concern list on 08/17/2016
*Not warranted for ESA listing (81 FR 50463, 08/01/2016)
1991-2011 *Decision Memo [pdf]
90-day finding on petition to list [pdf] (76 FR 49412; 08/10/2011)
2006-2017 Removed from Species of Concern list on 02/24/2017
*Not warranted for ESA listing (02/24/2017)
2002-2008 *Negative 90-day finding on petitions to list
(78 FR 6299, 01/30/2013) 
*Decision Memo [pdf]
*Removal Request [pdf]
*Not warranted for ESA listing[pdf] (73 FR 843, 01/04/2008)



The Proactive Species Conservation Grant Program supports voluntary conservation efforts designed to conserve marine and anadromous species before listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) becomes necessary. Through this grant program, NMFS will provide Federal assistance, in the form of grants or cooperative agreements, to support conservation efforts for species it has identified as Species of Concern (SOC).

A list of previously funded projects can be found in the Proactive Species Conservation Grants Archive.

Information on other grant opportunities offered by Office of Protected resources is also available.



Updated: February 23, 2017