Last week, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission took a formal position on the possibility of a presidential proclamation of an Atlantic marine monument.
According to Saving Seafood, ASMFC’s Interstate Fisheries Management Program policy board unanimously (with three abstentions) approved a resolution drawing a line in the ocean, in close proximity to the Atlantic canyons and seamounts off of Georges Banks, and urging that the creation of a monument only take place in a region seaward of that line.
The ASMFC resolution urges that management of waters under Federal control from the coastline to that line be managed under the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
Two associations have recently chimed in as well.
In response to the passed resolution, Greg DiDomenico, executive director of the Garden State Seafood Association released the following statement:
“The Antiquities Act was perhaps a necessary tool to protect sensitive areas in 1906, but with our increased technological capabilities, knowledge, and an all-encompassing regulatory system, it is an unnecessary and blunt tool for 2016," he wrote. "The Magnuson–Stevens Act specifically allows for any fishery management plan under the authority of any Council to protect deep-sea corals and other habitat features from physical damage from fishing gear."
"It is time that the years of on-the-water experience possessed by the commercial fishing industry be acknowledged, especially in the context of this issue. The intellectual power of the regional Councils, in conjunction with the fishing industry, will result in the most meaningful protections of deep-water corals and habitat while allowing for traditional fishing activity to continue," he wrote.
And Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, released a statement as well:
“The Long Island Commercial Fishing Association fully supports the motion approved by the ASMFC. The plan is a win for all. It allows for the protection of deep-sea corals, while at the at the same time protects commercial fishing jobs," she wrote. "It prevents the further contraction of our fisheries as we try to reclaim domestic markets from the onslaught of imported fish and shrimp, which too often is harvested by forced and involuntary laborers working in inhumane conditions.”