Scientists are urging federal regulators to go further to protect fish habitat in New England waters as the regulators finalize a long-anticipated management plan.

The New England Fishery Management Council has been working on a habitat management plan for several years and is considering a host of options. A draft of the plan says one goal is to review and revise which areas are closed to fishing.

A group of 138 scientists from around the country sent a letter to the council stating that it is ``deeply concerned that this amendment will fall far short'' of adequate protection.

A 90-day public comment period about the habitat management plan ends Jan. 8. New England Fishery Management Council members say they expect to vote on the plan in April.