New England fishermen consider whether to fight Atlantic monument designation

canyons-seamountsFishermen in New England say President Barack Obama needlessly dealt a big blow to their industry when he created the Atlantic Ocean’s first marine national monument and circumvented the existing process for protecting fisheries. The new Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument consists of nearly 5,000 square miles of underwater canyons and mountains off the New England coast. The designation will close the area to commercial fishermen, who go there primarily for lobster, red crab, squid, whiting, butterfish, swordfish and tuna. After Thursday’s announcement, fishermen pondered their next move: sue, lobby Congress to change the plan or relocate. It’s hard to move, they said, because other fishermen would likely already be fishing where they would want to go. They said the designation process wasn’t transparent and the administration should have let the New England Fishery Management Council, which is charged with regulating the region’s fisheries, finish working on the coral protection measures it’s considering. Read the story here 14:20

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