Trump Decimates Protections for Atlantic’s Only Marine National Monument

Opens protected Northeast Canyons and Seamounts to commercial fishing

Marine life in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. Photo: OceanX/Bloomberg

June 5, 2020 (PORTLAND, ME) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) issued the following statement today after President Trump signed a proclamation allowing commercial fishing in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The announcement comes as the nation is confronting the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing protests against police brutality in Black communities.

“Once again, the president is making cynical use of the national crises he has inflamed to pander to the very few New Englanders who may still have faith in his leadership,” said Bradley Campbell, President of CLF. “Having ravaged our economy nationally, Trump is now dismantling the few protections now in place to avert the demise of New England’s traditional marine fisheries, culture, and economy. We call on the New England delegation and the public to fight this attack on our ocean and our future by all means available.” 

CLF plans to file a lawsuit challenging today’s decision.

Established in 2016, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument protects ancient and fragile coral communities, endangered whales, and an abundance of unique and rare marine life. CLF intervened in a federal lawsuit in 2018 to protect the monument, and the court ruled that the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts was created legally.

CLF experts are available for further comment.