Tag Archives: Cashes Ledge

Battle over Cashes Ledge and Seamounts continues between fishermen, environmentalists

map-boundaries2-1066Despite the Obama administration’s declaration that Cashes Ledge has been taken off the table as a possible location for a marine national monument, the divisive issue of the monuments continues to percolate nationally between fishermen and conservationists. From Hawaii to New England, the lines are clearly drawn. Conservation groups have sustained a steady lobbying campaign to convince President Obama to employ the Antiquities Act to create new marine national monuments in the waters around Cashes Ledge, about 80 miles off Gloucester, and the seamounts off southern New England and Monterey, California. “We’re pushing as hard as we can with elected officials and the White House on those areas that have been identified and confirmed by the scientific community as being of great interest,” Peter Shelley, interim president and senior counsel at the Conservation Law Foundation, said of two New England areas. “These areas need permanent protection and this is not going to go away as a priority for us.” “This is not going to go away as a priority for us,” Shelley said. “It is not going to change with (presidential) administrations.” Read the story here 08:17

The Envirocons keep pressing for Atlantic Ocean monuments

cashes ledge closedIn the final months of President Barack Obama’s term, they’re hoping he’ll protect an underwater mountain and offshore ecosystem in the Gulf of Maine known as Cashes Ledge. They also want him to protect a chain of undersea formations about 150 miles off the coast of Massachusetts known as the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts. The White House Council on Environmental Quality said in March, and reiterated last week, that while the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts area is under consideration, Cashes Ledge currently is not. There are no marine national monuments in the Atlantic Ocean. The Conservation Law Foundation, which has been leading the Cashes Ledge effort, is continuing its campaign. It says that a coalition of environmental groups collected more than 250,000 signatures between August 2015 and this month in support of protecting both areas. Read the rest here 09:56

The Enviro Crackpots keep pushing! – Cashes Ledge deserves permanent protection

World famous oceanographer Sylvia Earle dived Cashes Ledge and declared it to be a “Yellowstone” of the ocean. Visions of enviro’s appear in my head doing the wave chanting ocean Serengeti over and over, trance like,,, Despite all the fishing that has rendered much of the Northeast a shell of its colonial riches, there remains in precious spots underwater life every bit the rival of the California coast and the Caribbean. Two such areas, Cashes Ledge and the New England Mid Atlantic Coral Canyons and Seamounts, deserve national marine monument status from President Obama before he leaves office. But there aren’t any such protections in the Atlantic, and groups such as the Conservation Law Foundation, the National Geographic Society, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the National Resources Defense Council, are campaigning for protection. (Full disclosure: I (Derrick Jackson) coauthored a book on Maine’s puffin restoration and discussed the bird’s winter feeding at a CLF luncheon this winter). Get the gist?  Read the rest here 16:58

Editorial: ‘Monument’ plan dries up

It turns out there are limits to how far even the Obama administration will go to please the green lobby. The White House has opted not to designate an area of the Atlantic off Cape Ann as a national monument, which would have closed it to commercial fishing and activities such as oil or gas exploration or extraction — permanently. Gov. Charlie Baker last fall had written to President Obama of his objections to the pending national monument designation for Cashes Ledge and a second area known as the New England Canyons and Seamounts, largely because of the unilateral nature of the decision. Some members of the state’s congressional delegation had also raised concerns. Read the rest, Click here 09:14

Opinion: Cashes Ledge decision a victory for open government

cashes ledge closedThe decision by the Obama administration to pass on a proposal to make a large swath of the Gulf of Maine a national monument is not only a victory for fishermen. It’s also a win for those who favor open government. News came late last week that the administration would not, in fact, use the federal Antiquities Act to make the area around Cashes Ledge a permanent “maritime national monument” by executive decree. The environmental lobby is not abandoning its efforts. Read the rest here 07:49

BREAKING – Cashes Ledge dropped from National Marine Monument plan

cashes ledge closedThe proposal to place a National Marine Monument around the area of Cashes Ledge about 80 miles off of Cape Ann has been “taken off the table,” members of the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality told fishing stakeholders Thursday at a meeting in Boston. The Obama administration’s decision not to use the Antiquities Act to designate the area of Cashes Ledge as a Marine National Monument is a victory for fishing stakeholders and others who characterized the proposal — pushed largely by environmentalists and conservationists — as an end-run around the existing fisheries management system and wholly unnecessary given the existing protections already afforded the area that currently is closed to commercial fishing. Read the rest here 11:31

Environmentalists, Fishermen At Odds Over Turning Cashes Ledge Into National Monument

tommy testaverde midnight sunAs some New England fishermen struggle under intense quota cuts, the industry is fearing another political move that could prove to have devastating consequences. There is an effort to designate Cashes Ledge — a historically important fishing area — as a national marine monument. This would require a presidential order and would effectively close the area to all commercial activity. About 80 miles off the coast of Cape Ann, a cold-water kelp forest grows from the tip of a ridge that rises from the ocean floor known as Cashes Ledge. Audio, Read the rest here 17:12

Baker to Obama: Monument plan contrary to regional ocean planning

Governor Charlie Baker today directly addressed his concerns to President Obama about the potential designation of one or more National Marine Monuments off the coast of New England, saying the process has lacked stakeholder involvement and threatens to undermine existing fishery management systems. The Obama administration, under significant pressure by environmental groups, is considering using the Antiquities Act to unilaterally designate areas of deep-sea canyons and seamounts — and possibly an area on Cashes Ledge,,, Read the rest here 08:22

Not so fast on Atlantic marine monument – By Jon Williams

An ongoing campaign led by large, well-funded environmental organizations is urging President Obama to use the 1906 Antiquities Act to designate parts of the Atlantic Ocean—such as Cashes Ledge in the Gulf of Maine and the New England Canyons and Seamounts—as marine National Monuments. In September, I had the privilege of testifying before House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans about the aspect of this proposal that seeks to exclude historic fisheries from the designated area. Read the rest here 18:47

It’s time for 1906 Antiquities Act to be drastically reformed or scrapped altogether.

Clearly, the intent of creating these monuments has nothing to do with historical or cultural preservation. As Maine Gov. Paul LePage rightly noted, the designations would “serve only one purpose — excluding commercial fishing activity from certain segments of the ocean.” While the areas in question already enjoy a great deal of protection from destructive practices like trawling and dredging, environmental advocates are hopeful that a national monument would end all fishing activity by means of executive fiat. Read the rest here 11:24

Three Maine Lobsterman Organizations weigh in on Cashes Ledge Monument Proposal

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association, Downeast Lobstermen’s Association and cashes ledge closed are weighing in, along with groups from other states, on the new National Marine Monument proposed for Cashes Ledge and the New England Canyons in the Gulf of Maine. “To unilaterally allow such a designation would usurp the established habitat and fisheries management public process and could be economically catastrophic not only to the commercial and charter fishermen but also to hundreds of small coastal communities in New England,” Read the rest here 11:18:08

Proposal to Protect Deepwater Habitat and Cashes Ledge, Divides Room

deep-sea canyons and underwater mountains off the New England coastThe commercial fishing industry noted that the area under consideration isn’t even entirely clear. The meeting’s agenda listed three canyons — Oceanographer, Gilbert and Lydonia — and the four seamounts south of them, but NOAA officials admitted the area in consideration could change. In fact, the two other canyons in the area — Nygren and Heezen — were mentioned, and plenty of speakers, both for and against monument designation, brought up Cashes Ledge, north of the area that was the meeting’s planned topic of discussion. Read the rest here 18:30

Fight the threat to Maine workers – Governor Paul R. LePage

“A National Marine Monument putting Cashes Ledge and undersea canyons and seamounts in the Gulf of Maine off-limits to commercial fishing activity will affect Maine’s offshore lobstermen, tuna fishermen, herring fishermen and groundfish fishermen. Moreover, this comes on the heels of a roughly 10-year habitat amendment process at the New England Fishery Management Council. It looks like environmental interest groups that are unhappy with that process are now going to a higher authority to upend the result achieved by the council. Procedurally, this type of end-run is a terrible precedent. Read the rest here 11:26

City of Gloucester joins fight against marine monument plan

In her letter read into the record Tuesday night at a NOAA-hosted town meeting in Providence to discuss the issue, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken stated the city’s objections to designate the deep sea canyons and seamounts — and Cashes Ledge — as a national monument. “We have learned over the years to take a balanced perspective on issues, to make sure to have researched all the facts, and to include the public in our decisions,” Romeo Theken wrote. “It is from this perspective that I write in opposition to the Conservation Law Foundation-organized proposal for a national monument.” Read the rest here 07:01

NOAA Seeking Input on Deep Sea Canyon and Seamount Protection

NOAA invites your input on possible permanent protections for three deep sea canyons –Oceanographer, Gilbert, and Lydonia — and four seamounts off of New England’s coast. Deep sea canyons, which plunge to depths greater than 7,000 feet, and sea mounts, which rise thousands of feet above the sea floor, create unique habitats supporting tremendous biodiversity and fragile ecosystems that are home to corals, fish, marine mammals, turtles, and more. Read the rest here 11:32

Con groups, fishermen divided over NOAA plan for marine national monument

enviro cooksHundreds of people filled a conference hall Tuesday night to speak out on a federal proposal to permanently protect a network of deep-sea canyons and underwater mountains off New England by creating the first marine national monument on the Atlantic coast. Terry Stockwell, chairman of the New England Fishery Management Council, said the existing regulatory framework already protects Cashes Ledge and the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts area. The council in April voted in favor of keeping Cashes Ledge closed to most fishing. Read the rest here 18:29

Analysis: New England Marine Monument Proposals Overlook Existing Protections, Overstep Democratic Management

cashes ledge closedFishermen, fisheries managers, and environmentalists agree that the Cashes Ledge region of the Gulf of Maine is home to some of the most important marine environments in New England. Since the early 2000s, federal fisheries managers have recognized the value of these areas and have taken proactive steps to protect their unique habitats, preventing commercial fishermen from entering the areas and allowing them to develop mostly undisturbed from human activity. But according to several environmental groups, including the Conservation Law Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, the National Geographic Society, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, such long-standing and effective protections are suddenly insufficient. Read the rest here 09:17

Paul LePage doesn’t want National Monument designations for Gulf of Maine

No FishingRepublican Gov. Paul LePage  is expressing his disapproval of a proposal to designate areas within the Gulf of Maine as a National Maritime Monument. This specific proposal  for the Gulf of Maine would designate Cashes Ledge and undersea canyons and seamounts as a National Maritime Monument, according to a statement from LePage’s office. The change, according to the statement, would impact fishermen from a variety of sectors, including offshore lobstermen, tuna fishermen, herring fishermen and groundfish fishermen. “These serve only one purpose — excluding commercial fishing activity from certain segments of the ocean.” Read the rest here 11:34

NEFMC Votes to Keep Cashes Ledge Closed

cashes ledge closedFederal fishery regulators are keeping protections of Cashes Ledge in the Gulf of Maine as part of a broad effort to alter the scope of New England’s fishing grounds. The ledge is an underwater mountain and offshore ecosystem mostly closed to fishing that environmentalists have ardently opposed reopening. The New England Fishery Management Council says its protections will stay. The council is meeting Thursday to approve a long-awaited plan for federal waters from Maine to Rhode Island. Read the rest here 16:03

Letter to the Editor: Cashes Ledge must be protected from fishing – Betsy Fecto, Portland

cashes ledge closedCashes Ledge is currently afforded the protection and conservation measures of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Public hearings have been held throughout New England to help decide whether Cashes Ledge should continue to be closed to the harvesting of groundfish or opened with some restrictions. Scientists, researchers, fishermen and others have shared their future visions of Cashes Ledge. Read the rest here 09:55

Conflict looms over effort to reopen protected Gulf of Maine fishing ground

cashes ledgeUnder the “preferred option” being considered by the council, the more than 500-square-mile closure zone would shrink by roughly 70 percent. All mobile “bottom-tending” fishing gear – such as draggers and trawlers that can disturb the sea floor – would remain banned around Ammen Rock and most of the ledge proper. But fishermen could resume targeting haddock, cod, pollock and other groundfish in surrounding mudflats that the council deemed “less vulnerable to accumulating adverse effects.” Read the rest here 08:10

Reopening Cashes – In a briny preserve, fish and controversy thrive

This prospect — even if the most sensitive areas remain protected — has infuriated environmental advocates, who worry about harming the ledge’s unique biodiversity and further damaging already dramatically reduced cod populations. Vito Giacalone says fishermen are “just looking for some common sense.”  Read more here 11:54