Adverse effect means any impact that reduces quality and/or quantity of EFH. Adverse effects may include direct or indirect physical, chemical, or biological alterations of the waters or substrate and loss of, or injury to, benthic organisms, prey species and their habitat, and other ecosystem components, if such modifications reduce the quality and/or quantity of EFH. Adverse effects to EFH may result from actions occurring within EFH or outside of EFH and may include site-specific or habitat-wide impacts, including individual, cumulative, or synergistic consequences of actions.
50 CFR § 600.810
Definitions. In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson-Stevens Act and 600.10, the terms in this subpart have the following meanings: