Fishermen, Conservationists Go Head To Head Over East Coast Underwater National Monument

New England fishermen are hoping President Donald Trump will reverse an undersea monument designation they say has cut them off from nearly 5,000 square miles of valuable fishing grounds off the coast of Cape Cod. Trump last month directed the Department of the Interior to conduct a sweeping review of national monument designations over the last two decades, including the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, which President Barack Obama declared the first undersea national monument in the Atlantic Ocean in September. But Joseph Gilbert, owner of Stonington-based Empire Fisheries, said since the designation, “we’ve been pushed to other areas” creating unnecessary competition and pressure as more boats are fishing in a smaller area. Fishermen, who have been using the area for 200 years, Gilbert said, were given just two months to get out. Though the area represents only 1.5 percent of U.S. waters off the East Coast, Gilbert said it’s another example of fishermen “losing, one nibble or bite at a time, access to historic, productive fishing areas.” click here to read the article 08:01