Local Fishing Industry Upset Over Biden Restoring Marine National Monument

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WASHINGTON D.C. (WBZ NewsRadio)— President Biden re-established an area off of the coast of Cape Cod as a marine national monument Friday, a move that has the local fishing industry angry.

The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument was originally created during the Obama administration to preserve the sea life in that region. During the Trump administration, restrictions in the area were scaled back, which allowed for commercial fishing.

Under the new executive action from President Biden, commercial fishing in the area is banned but recreational fishing is allowed. The monument is more than 100 miles southeast off the shore of Cape Cod.

Bob Vanasse of Saving Seafood told WBZ's Karyn Regal (@karynregal) the trip to the area is one only a chartered fishing boat or mega yacht could make.

"The privileged few are going to allowed to go out and spearfish on the same species that working families in the swordfish and tuna industry will not be able to do," Vanasse said.

Vanasse said he wishes the President had at least used the National Marine Sanctuaries Act to designate the area, which would require input from the public and scientific justification. The act was used to create a marine national monument at Stellwagen Bank, an area stretching from Cape Ann to Provincetown, in 1992.

Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement the reinstatement of this marine national monument shows the Biden Administration's commitment to conservation.

“The rich diversity of species in the monument include rare and endangered marine life—from deep-sea corals and fish, to whales and sea turtles—that continue to be threatened by the climate crisis," Raimondo said.

WBZ's Karyn Regal (@karynregal) has the story.

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