An area south of the Island near where several offshore wind energy companies have secured leases could soon be studied due to the potential adverse effects on cod spawning grounds.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is considering creating a “Habitat Area of Particular Concern” designation for the area in and around offshore wind farms in southern New England, including Cox Ledge. The designation was recommended by interstate fishing officials to mitigate the environmental impacts of new wind farm projects.

“HAPCs do not convey additional restrictions or protections on an area,” said NOAA spokesperson Andrea Gomez. “They simply focus increased study or mitigation planning compared to surrounding areas because they represent high priority areas for conservation, management, or research.”

Recent studies have shown the area to be important habitat for cod spawning, Ms. Gomez wrote, and the new designation will “focus on these important cod spawning grounds and areas of complex habitat that are known to serve important habitat functions to federally managed species within and adjacent to offshore wind development areas.”

NOAA Fisheries opened the comment period for the proposal on Sept. 26. Following a 30-day comment period, NOAA and the council will finalize the proposed rule.