Tags: atlantic ocean | national monument | cape cod

Atlantic Ocean National Monument Created Off Cape Cod

Image: Atlantic Ocean National Monument Created Off Cape Cod

This undated photo released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows deep-sea spiral coral during a dive on the New England Seamount chain in the North Atlantic Ocean. (NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research via AP)

By    |   Thursday, 15 Sep 2016 11:19 AM

An area in the Atlantic Ocean will be designated as a national monument, creating the first marine national monument in the Atlantic.

President Obama will formally announce the Atlantic Ocean designation at the Third Annual Our Ocean Conference in Washington, creating “a protected area where commercial fishing will be banned by 2023,” The Boston Globe noted.

The protected area is located about 130 miles off the southeast coast of Cape Cod and includes “three underwater canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon, four underwater mountains known as seamounts, and many rare and endangered species such as sei whales and Kemp’s ridley turtles,” the Globe noted.

While environmental groups are happy about the announcement, local elected officials, fisheries, and industry groups have some concerns, according to Boston.com.

“While I believe the industry generally was in a position to manage the implications of the so-called ‘sea mount’ area of the monument, the inclusion of the ‘canyons’ area would have benefited from more industry input,” New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell wrote in a letter to the Obama administration, expressing his concern about the impact on the commercial fishing industry across the region.

Supporters said protecting the area from “human stresses” can sustain important species and “reduce the toll of climate change,” The Associated Press reported. However, those in the fishing industry think it will make it harder for them to earn a living.

“We’ve been fishing out there for 35 years. It’s a big blow to us,” Jon Williams, president of the Atlantic Red Crab Company in New Bedford, Massachusetts, told the AP. “I think the entire New England fishery is upside down over this.”

According to the AP, the congressional delegation from Connecticut initially recommended designating more than 6,000 square miles of the Atlantic for the monument, but Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Obama decided to go with “more sensible boundary limits” in order to keep a good balance between environmental goals and economic interests.

“Jobs are a priority and the monument boundaries better serve that priority,” Blumenthal said.

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An area in the Atlantic Ocean will be designated as a national monument, creating the first marine national monument in the Atlantic.
atlantic ocean, national monument, cape cod
339
2016-19-15
Thursday, 15 Sep 2016 11:19 AM
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