Tag Archives: Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

Trump receives recommendation to reopen national monuments to fishing

Ryan Zinke has officially recommended making changes to three marine national monuments, which could open the door to commercial fishing in some of those areas, if President Donald Trump signs off on the plan. Zinke’s recommendations include allowing regional fishery management councils make decisions on commercial fishing opportunities in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast of New England. Zinke also recommended to Trump that he let councils make similar decisions, as well as possibly revise the boundaries of the Pacific Remote Islands and the Rose Atoll monuments. click here to read the story 11:14

Storm brews over Maine’s monument offshore, too

Zinke has recommended that the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument – a 4,913-square-mile area of underwater canyons, thousand-year-old coral forests, and volcanic mountains on and beyond the southern edge of Georges Bank at the mouth of the Gulf of Maine – be opened to commercial fishing, a move proponents say would defeat its purpose.,, The heads of eight of the nation’s fisheries management councils – the industry-led bodies that implement fisheries regulations in federal waters – were already on record against the commercial fishing restrictions.,, Peter Shelley of the Conservation Law Foundation, an environmental attorney who is watching the case closely, strongly disagrees. click here to read the story 08:35

Wishy-washy – Baker team circumspect on marine monument controversy

In the course of the past year, a Connecticut-sized marine area off the coast of Cape Cod has been officially designated a national monument by one president and targeted for potential changes by the next. It became subject to a new ban on commercial fishing, and now might have that ban removed. The ping-ponging presidential decisions have left the future of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument somewhat murky, but the same concerns Governor Charlie Baker first raised almost two years ago remain on the minds of his top environmental official. click here to read the story 08:21

Trump’s monument review is as secretive as Obama’s designations

Presidential use of the Antiquities Act is ripe for abuse, as major decisions impacting vast public lands, natural resources, property rights, livelihoods and private industry are left to the sole discretion of the president. After such a unilateral designation, the president does not need to substantiate his decision in any meaningful way, beyond the use of a few magic words on the face of the proclamation. It seemed like a positive step when President Trump in April issued an executive order seeking public input for a review of national monument designations over the last two decades. But it now appears that any hope for additional transparency may have been premature. click here to read the story 19:25

The Fate Of The 1st Atlantic Marine Monument Is Likely Headed To Court

Environmentalists and fishing groups said Thursday they are prepared for a legal battle in the wake of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s decision to preserve the nation’s first Atlantic Ocean marine monument.,,, The Atlantic monument has been contested from the beginning. Some fishing groups have said it was created through an illegal use of the Antiquities Act of 1906 and jeopardizes their industry, and they’ve sued to challenge its creation. “I’m sure fishermen will appreciate any relief they get from the administration, but unless the monument is revoked it won’t cure the legal problem that we highlight in the lawsuit,” said Jonathan Wood, an attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation, which is representing the fishing groups. click here to read the story 16:01

The Latest: New England groups want fishing rights back – Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance president Richard Fuka says he hopes U.S. demand for locally harvested seafood convinced U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to recommend reopening the area to fishing. Fishing groups said they were encouraged by Zinke stating that his recommendations would “provide a much needed change for the local communities who border and rely on these lands for hunting and fishing.” click here to read the story 20:16

A meeting with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke – Concerns aired about Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

Fishing groups from around New England met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Friday to air complaints about former President Barack Obama’s designation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument last year. The monument, the first marine national monument in U.S. Atlantic waters, protects about 4,000 square miles of ocean 150 miles southeast of Cape Cod. Fishermen say the protected area in which fishing is prohibited hurts their business and places an undue burden on an already heavily regulated industry. But Priscilla Brooks, vice president and director of ocean conservation at the Conservation Law Foundation, said the former administration did take fishermen’s concerns into account. Obama reduced the size of the original proposed monument by 60 percent and allowed lobster and crab fishermen a seven-year grace period to continue fishing there. “There was a robust public process,” she said. (BS!) click here to read the story 08:25

Interior secretary set to visit Boston as enviros launch marine monument campaign

When Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visits the Boston area on Friday, environmentalists plan to greet him by rallying for the preservation of national monuments that are under review by the Trump administration. The former Montana congressman has an 11 a.m. press event at a Legal Sea Foods location, according to his office. The Bay State visit could also afford the interior secretary a chance to meet with the state’s top Republican, Gov. Charlie Baker, although nothing has been announced. The fishing industry opposed President Barack Obama’s 2016 designation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument on a roughly 4,900 square-mile area south of Cape Cod. According to a Zinke press aide, the secretary on Friday will meet with a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials and officials from the New England Aquarium about marine wildlife around the monument. The secretary will then attend a roundtable meeting with lobstermen and fishermen about the impact of the monument designation on their industry. click here to read the story 18:36

Cause of Action Digs In: Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Designation: Some Stakeholders Are More Equal Than Others

This week we review the procedural history of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument (“Atlantic Monument” or “Monument”) designation, which was made by President Obama on September 15, 2016 (“Proclamation”), and show that certain, privileged, non-governmental entities were granted access to detailed information on the forthcoming monument and allowed input into the designation, while other stakeholders—notably those with specific legal authority, such as Regional Fishery Councils—were denied input and access.,,,  The following history, derived from the partial responses to CoA Institute’s FOIA requests and other publicly available documents, is illustrative: In March 2015, the Conservation Law Foundation (“CLF”) and Natural Resources Defense Council (“NRDC”),,, click here to read the story. Hang onto your Sou’wester. 17:53

New England Fishery Management Council seeks voice in marine monument review

New England fishery regulators might seek to reclaim some of the authority they lost when President Barack Obama virtually walled off thousands of square miles of ocean south of Cape Cod to commercial fisheries. On Tuesday, the New England Fisheries Management Council’s Habitat Committee recommended that the regulatory council provide feedback to the Trump administration about the designation of the 4,913 square-mile area by the continental shelf. “I would strongly suggest we take the opportunity to comment,” said Eric Reid, a council member and the general manager of Seafreeze Shoreside, a seafood processing facility in Galilee, Rhode Island. While the committee members did not delve into what the letter should say during Tuesday’s meeting, the council chairman, former Rep. John Quinn, the director of public interest at the UMass School of Law in Dartmouth, made clear he believes the council should have jurisdiction. click here to read the story 07:57

Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument under review, Beaton hoping for modifications

The state’s top environmental official hopes the Trump administration modifies President Barack Obama’s 2016 designation of a marine monument area off the Massachusetts coast, which is on the Trump administration’s list of areas under review. Environmental protection activists last year applauded Obama’s decision, made under powers granted through the Antiquities Act, to create the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument covering a more than 4,900 square mile area southeast of Cape Cod. The designation came with strict limits on fishing that were greeted with pushback from port communities and some elected officials, including Gov. Charlie Baker, whose administration knocked an alleged lack of public process, potential negative impacts on commercial fishing, and conflicts with existing marine fisheries planning processes. click here to read the story 12:11

As I see It: More US action required on New England fishery – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva

On March 30, Carlos Rafael – the infamous “Codfather” of New Bedford, Massachusetts – pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges.,,, His fraud in mislabeling nearly 800,000 pounds of fish to evade quotas on cod, flounder and sole was so massive that scientific studies using the misreported landings may have to be scrapped, adding additional uncertainty to a fishery that has been teetering on the edge of complete collapse for decades.,,, The Fisheries Service must also start saying ‘no’ to the New England Fishery Management Council, a regional regulatory body that includes many industry representatives.,,,It’s time to end the convenient and false narratives that blame science-based fisheries regulations and ocean conservation initiatives, such as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument on the edge of the continental shelf off Cape Cod, for problems they did not create. Click here to read the op-ed 09:41

NRDC, CLF, CBD Acts to Defend Atlantic’s First Marine Monument

NRDC is seeking to intervene in a lawsuit that challenges the New England marine monument established last September—the first such monument off the continental U.S. Together with other supporters of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, NRDC today filed this motion to intervene in a lawsuit filed earlier this month by five regional commercial fishing associations. This ocean park spans almost 5,000 miles and safeguards ancient coral gardens, endangered sperm whales, Atlantic puffins, and literally thousands of other animal species for the benefit of all Americans. Our goal is to prevent it from being handed back to private industries for commercial exploitation, including commercial fishing, seismic surveying, oil and gas drilling, and mining. We also want to protect the President’s authority to designate future marine monuments and demonstrate that the other four marine monuments–designated by Presidents Obama and George W. Bush—were legally created. Our partners seeking to intervene include a naturalist who leads whale watch tours, Conservation Law Foundation and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). Read the rest of this stuff here 17:03

UPDATED: GOP Kicks Off Effort To Roll Back Obama’s Monument Designations

House lawmakers kicked off their effort to push back against national monuments designations, targeting the large swaths of ocean the Obama administration made off limits to fishing. “I don’t believe the Antiquities Act should have ever been applied to oceans,” Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young said during a Wednesday hearing on marine monument designations. “There was never intent of that.” Republicans on the House Committee on Natural Resources have long criticized former President Barack Obama’s use of the Antiquities Act to put millions of square miles off limits to commercial fishing with little to no input from locals.  New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell, who couldn’t attend the hearing due to a snow storm, is a Democrat who represents a Massachusetts community dependent on fishing. Mitchell wants to change how national monuments are designated to include more local input. Mitchell was not a fan of Obama unilaterally designating the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument in September. continue reading the story here 16:02

Fishing Industry Tells Committee Regulations Go Too Far – Allegations of bad science and lobbying by overzealous environmentalists dominated talks on marine sanctuary and monument designations during a Congressional hearing Wednesday. Read the story here 18:02

Mitchell set to testify to Congress about impact of marine monument this morning

Weather permitting, Mayor Jon Mitchell on Wednesday will be in Washington giving testimony to Congress about an underwater marine monument which former President Obama created with a stroke of the pen in 2016 over the protests of the fishing community. The spans nearly 5,000 square miles 150 miles off Cape Cod, and it was hailed by environmentalists for preserving enormous underwater mountains and vast, deep canyons only now being explored. Three years earlier, an underwater remotely-operated vehicle sent back pictures of incredible life forms and geological features. The NRDC was among the leaders of many organizations that jumped at the opportunity to preserve the monument against human activity, fishing in particular. read the rest here 07:18

New England fishermen challenge Obama’s Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument designation

A coalition of New England fishermen organizations filed suit today over former President Barack Obama’s designation of a vast area of ocean as a national monument — a dictate that could sink commercial fishing in New England. The organizations filing the lawsuit are the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen’s Association, Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, Rhode Island Fisherman’s Alliance, and Garden State Seafood Association. They are represented, free of charge, by Pacific Legal Foundation, a watchdog organization that litigates nationwide for limited government, property rights, and a balanced approach to environmental regulations. The lawsuit challenges President Obama’s September 15, 2016, creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, 130 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. continue reading the story here 14:28

Will Trump Be Able To Undo Papahanaumokuakea, Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monuments?

barry-obamaIn the months leading up to the Nov. 8 election, President Barack Obama signed a series of proclamations to dramatically increase the amount of land and water that is federally protected from commercial fishing, mining, drilling and development. On Aug. 24, he established a nearly 90,000-acre national monument in the Katahdin Woods of Maine. Two days later, Obama expanded Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands by 283 million acres, making it the world’s largest protected area at the time. And on Sept. 15, he created the first national monument in the Atlantic Ocean, protecting more than 3 million acres of marine ecosystems, seamounts and underwater canyons southeast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It’s mostly speculation at this point as to what Trump will do but groups on both sides of the issue are keeping a watchful eye on things. Advocates for commercial fishing interests on the East Coast have started nudging policymakers to consider what changes the next administration could make. But West Coast and Hawaii industry groups are still gathering information and developing plans. Read the rest here 08:47

Fishing industry looks to Trump to undo Atlantic marine monument designation

barry-obamaWhen President Barack Obama announced in September the creation of the first ever marine national monument in U.S. Atlantic waters, 50 environmental organizations claimed victory in the long campaign to protect approximately 4,000 square miles of ocean from fishing and other human activities. Since then, there has been another kind of victory. Donald Trump, once a long shot presidential candidate, will succeed Obama in January. During his campaign, the president-elect made promises to roll back environmental roadblocks to business and to cancel every “unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order” by the sitting president. While some in the fishing community took heart that Trump might reverse Obama’s decision on the offshore monument, legal experts believe there is little chance of that happening. Instead, opponents of the designation will likely have to use the more difficult and lengthy routes of congressional legislation or litigation to get it changed. Read the rest here 09:58

Fishermen hope Trump will end Atlantic Ocean’s first marine national monument

donald-trumpNew England fishermen who opposed President Barack Obama’s creation of the Atlantic Ocean’s first marine national monument are now hopeful President-elect Donald Trump will abolish it, shrink it or allow some fishing inside it. Environmentalists view the monument as a way to sustain important species, as well as research and reduce the toll of climate change. “We take the monument very seriously and any threats to it are threats, I think, against the national interest,” said Peter Shelley, senior counsel at the Conservation Law Foundation. “We would take appropriate action if and when anything happened, including making a compelling scientific case to the president for the monument.” It’s unclear whether Trump could unilaterally undo a marine monument designation. It hasn’t been done before. There’s precedent, however, to modify a monument. Obama quadrupled the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii, also in August, to create the world’s largest oceanic preserve at nearly 600,000 square miles. Read the story here 15:45

As of Monday, at 12:01 a.m., Commercial fishing ends at Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

canyons-seamountsAs of Monday, virtually all commercial fishing will be banned from the newly created Marine National Monument that includes the off the coast of southern New England. The closure includes more than 4,900 square miles of ocean, or about the same area as the state of Connecticut, about 130 miles east-southeast of Cape Cod. The Northeast Canyons represent 941 square miles of that total, while the protection afforded the Seamounts stretches over 3,972 square miles. Currently, only lobster and red crab fishing are exempted from the closure. Those fisheries are grandfathered in for seven years before they also will be excluded and the area wholly shut off to commercial fishing. The closure, widely criticized by fishing stakeholders as an end-run around the established national fishery management system, is a product of President Obama’s use of the Antiquities Act on Sept. 15 to create the new Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. Read the story here 17:52

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

Commercial Fishermen Question Obama’s Ocean ‘Monument’ Preserve

f-viking%20village%20fleet“All commercial fishing is excluded from the area, but fisheries in the top 10 to 20 feet, no way in the world they’re going to impact the bottom,” pointed out Nils Stolpe, communications director of the association. Such is the case for a lot of the Barnegat Light-based boats, he said, for example, longliners and some hook-and-line tuna boats. “They’re fishing 3 miles up above all of this on the ocean floor.” “Longliners are probably affected more than any of our other fisheries up there” by the declaration, said Ernie Panacek, general manager at Viking Village Commercial Seafood Producers in Barnegat Light. “Our bottom longlining boats and surface longlining for sword and tuna boats are going to be affected up there.” Golden tilefish is found on the bottom and tuna and sword on the surface, “and they’re banning all commercial fishing,” Panacek noted. “It’s not a big area, necessarily, but my biggest concern is an expansion of this national monument just like they did in Hawaii,” he added. Panacek said fishermen have done “extensive work” with the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Council and the Garden State Seafood Association to protect deep-sea coral reefs and sea mounts in the North Atlantic, and were awarded for it. “And now President Obama had to step ahead and do this; I don’t understand,” Panacek said. The federal Magnuson Stevens Act has been managing these areas “and they have been managed properly,” he said. Read the story here 17:47

Editorial: President Obama waves his green wand

obama-wand

President Obama’s executive overreach isn’t confined to immigration or health care. He has now used his authority to place nearly 5,000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean off-limits to commercial fishermen, future oil or gas exploration and potentially even limiting recreational fishing. And there was barely a whisper of protest from members of this state’s congressional delegation, who happily place the cause of climate change ahead of the interests of many of their own constituents — and don’t seem to object to being cut out of this process. Consultations with local officials were inadequate. There was no debate. There was, instead, heavy lobbying by environmentalists — and Obama’s 2008 pledge that his election would slow the rising of the seas. So here we are. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who once represented the fishermen whose interests have been cast aside here, celebrated this designation at his big oceans conference last week, where he rubbed elbows not with the guys who fish for red crab and lobster in the now off-limits monument but with Leonardo DiCaprio. Gov. Charlie Baker, along with some state lawmakers and local officials, have objected to the unilateral designation. But in the end, when Team Obama has a desired end, you can be damn sure they will use it to justify the means. Read the rest here 13:06

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