CLF Intervenes in Marine Monument Case

Fighting to save protections for Northeast Canyons and Seamounts

Photo: Atlantic Exploration - Canyons and Seamounts, NOAA.

June 14, 2022 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and several partner organizations are intervening in a case to uphold protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast of New England. The Pacific Legal Foundation is representing two fishermen in a lawsuit challenging the legality of the monument in federal court and attempting to open the area to commercial fishing.

“With our ocean in peril from unsustainable human use and climate impacts, now is not the time to be rolling back necessary protections,” said CLF Senior Attorney Erica Fuller. “The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts is a biological hotspot that provides a refuge for a remarkable diversity of wildlife and has enormous scientific value. We look forward to standing up for the monument in court.”

Located about 130 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts comprises three underwater canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon, and four seamounts (extinct volcanoes). The monument was designated in 2016 and is the only marine national monument in the Atlantic. It supports vulnerable fish, marine mammals, corals, seabirds, and other wildlife populations; builds ecological resilience to climate change, and serves as a critical scientific reference site. The monument is also home to over 70 species of highly vulnerable cold-water corals, some of which are centuries old.

CLF experts are available for further comment.