WASHINGTON (NCFC) — The most valuable fishing port in the U.S. – New Bedford, Mass. – and eight major fishing groups from Florida to Massachusetts are backing an Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) resolution opposing current proposals for a monument off the coast of New England. The fisheries most likely to be affected by a National Monument designation inside the continental shelf, including the valuable red crab, swordfish, tuna, and offshore lobster fisheries, have all come out in support of the ASMFC resolution.
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, is in New Bedford today, where he will hear from regional stakeholders about the negative effects a monument would have on commercial fisheries.
Multiple environmental groups have been pushing the Obama Administration to use executive authority under the Antiquities Act to designate an offshore monument in the Atlantic. Earlier this month, the ASMFC unanimously approved a resolution urging the Administration to forgo a monument designation and instead allow the current management process protecting ocean ecosystems to continue. If the President decides to create a monument, the ASMFC resolution asks that it be seaward of the continental shelf, only prohibit bottom tending fishing, and that any plan be available for public review before it is implemented.