Fishermen Oppose Commercial Ban – national marine monument exclusion is unfair and unnecessary

20161006_govmarinemonumentjasondanielledgFishermen believe a monument in the Mid-Atlantic is unnecessary and allege it was not based on science but pressure from nongovernmental environmental groups, including the Pew Charitable Trusts and the National Resources Defense Council. To exclude commercial fishermen while allowing recreational fishing makes no sense, fishermen contend. They also claim the monument will not only fail to prevent harm to non-target species such as pilot whales, but will increase interactions with them. “It’s a huge blow,” Hank Lackner of the Jason and Danielle, a trawler based in Montauk, said. “And there was no need for it.” Mark Phillips, who fishes for fluke, squid, and haddock from the Greenport-based Illusion, agreed. “The funny thing, there is no coral there. It’s all sand and mud, and I’ve dragged all of that bottom. A handful of boats out of Montauk have dragged it all. There is no coral, period,” he said. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration agree that many of the areas in which trawlers fish are devoid of coral, according to Ms. Brady. Read the article here 12:08

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