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US fishermen sue to reverse Obama’s last-minute ocean grab by Emily Larsen March 14,2017   |  Source: Liberty Headlines

A coalition of commercial fishing groups in the United States filed a lawsuit which challenges the designation of the area as a national monument. Fishing is not allowed on the monument. The fishermen, represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation, say that the Antiquities Act only gives the President power to designate land as a national monument, and argue the ocean isn’t land.

Obama used the Antiquities Act to declare the area in question – the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument – in September 2016. Nearly 5,000 square miles of ocean and underwater canyons 130 miles off the coast of New England make up the disputed monument. The area is roughly the size of Connecticut.

“This critical marine area, which serves as important habitat for pelagic fish species, corals, whales, sea turtles, sea birds and other species, will now be protected and preserved for future generations, serving as an important natural laboratory for research and enhanced understanding of the impacts of climate change on our oceans,” former Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said in a press release when the monument was first designated.

The North Atlantic right whale population is of particular concern to many marine biologists. There are only 524 whales left in the

 

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