(a) In general
The Secretary, in consultation with appropriate regional fishery management councils and in coordination with other federal agencies and educational institutions, shall, subject to the availability of appropriations, establish a program—
(1) to identify existing research on, and known locations of, deep sea corals and submit such information to the appropriate Councils;
(2) to locate and map locations of deep sea corals and submit such information to the Councils;
(3) to monitor activity in locations where deep sea corals are known or likely to occur, based on best scientific information available, including through underwater or remote sensing technologies and submit such information to the appropriate Councils;
(4) to conduct research, including cooperative research with fishing industry participants, on deep sea corals and related species, and on survey methods;
(5) to develop technologies or methods designed to assist fishing industry participants in reducing interactions between fishing gear and deep sea corals; and
(6) to prioritize program activities in areas where deep sea corals are known to occur, and in areas where scientific modeling or other methods predict deep sea corals are likely to be present.
Beginning 1 year after January 12, 2007, the Secretary, in consultation with the Councils, shall submit biennial reports to Congress and the public on steps taken by the Secretary to identify, monitor, and protect deep sea coral areas, including summaries of the results of mapping, research, and data collection performed under the program.