Fishers balk at proposal to designate Pacific Ocean national monuments

AR-160709615.jpg&maxh=400&maxw=667West Coast fishers, including those that supply Los Angeles and Long Beach with local seafood, are incensed at a “secret” proposal from environmentalists asking President Barack Obama to create new national monuments in the Pacific Ocean. Dozens of California fishing businesses and their representatives signed a letter this week asking Obama to ignore suggestions to block fishing in open-ocean areas rich with sea life by designating them as offshore marine monuments. Environmental groups made the proposal in a “secret effort” to lobby the president to declare that many Pacific Ocean seamounts, ridges and banks are national landmarks, according to the letter. The five-page environmental proposal, “The Case for Protecting California’s Seamounts, Ridges and Banks,” argues that these parts of the ocean should be preserved for scientific research. Seamounts and ridges are craggy underwater mountains, and banks are shallow areas near deep ocean drop-offs. “If this proposed action is taken, many local harvesters will be impacted. Loss of access to their fishing grounds, without a public process, will likely cause irreparable harm to the San Pedro fishing community and the consumers they serve.” Read the rest here 08:07