As we celebrate the four-year anniversary of New England’s national monuments, CLF is part of a growing movement of scientists, policymakers, businesses, and conservation organizations in the United States and around the world calling for the global protection of at least 30% of land and 30% of the ocean by 2030.
We know that to protect biodiversity and build our ocean’s resilience to climate change, we must protect much more of New England’s ocean.
In times of change and upheaval, there is also room for hope and inspiration. While we collectively have much hard work ahead of us, we also have much to commend. Our hope is that this report offers insight into the work that your support makes possible – and inspiration for what we know we can accomplish together.
For centuries, Atlantic cod has been essential to New England’s identity. Yet today, you can rarely find locally caught cod in a grocery store or on a menu – because it has been fished to the brink of disaster. Here’s what it’s going to take to save New England’s founding fish.
“The fishermen have had the ocean all to themselves for centuries,” says Peter Shelley, senior counsel for the Conservation Law Foundation in Boston. Shelley says the lawsuit challenging the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument, and the presidential authority that created it, failed to acknowledge other “values” such as conservation and preservation as powers granted in the Antiquities Act of 1906.
This underwater mountain range faces mounting threats.
Conservation Law Foundation has filed two challenges to the National Marine Fisheries Service Omnibus Habitat Amendment related to the impact of fishing gear on important species.
After 14 years of development, a newly approved plan for managing New England’s fisheries should have prioritized protection of important ocean habitats and improved the long-term well-being of our fishing economy. Instead, in a short-sighted decision, fishery managers put fragile habitats and overfished species at even greater risk than they are today.
“Our marine monument – the only one in the Atlantic – protects rare and fragile ocean life and serves as an important deep-sea laboratory that will propel forward our nation’s commitment to scientific understanding and innovation. We intend to continue to fight for full, comprehensive protection of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts monument on behalf of all New Englanders who rely on a healthy ocean.”
The story of North Atlantic right whales is a sadly familiar one. Historically, they were targeted by whalers because they were commercially lucrative and easy to kill. Today, with barely 500 North Atlantic right whales left on the planet, they face threats from warming waters, which push their food sources north, as well as fishing net entanglements and ship collisions.