President Biden reinstates fishing limits in a Gulf of Maine conservation area

This undated file photo released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made during the Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition 2013, shows corals on Mytilus Seamount off the coast of New England in the North Atlantic Ocean.

This undated file photo released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made during the Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition 2013, shows corals on Mytilus Seamount off the coast of New England in the North Atlantic Ocean. (NOAA Office Of Ocean Exploration And Research)

President Biden is re-imposing fishing limits in a vast undersea mountain range that conservationists say plays a vital role in the health of North Atlantic ecosystems and fisheries. That reverses efforts by former President Trump to roll back protections there and in two other national monuments in Utah.

President Obama established the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument, the first of its kind in the Atlantic, in 2017. It encompasses nearly 5,000 square miles of ocean in an area about 150 miles east of Cape Cod, and it’s considered a hot-bed of species diversity and productivity.

Sean Mahoney directs the Maine chapter of the Conservation Law Foundation, which pushed for the monument’s declaration under the century-old federal Antiquities act.

“Canyons as deep as the Grand Canyon, and seamounts far higher than any mountains that are in the New England region. Home to a real vast array of different types of species, from corals to fish to whales and dolphins and the whole nine yards,” Mahoney says.

For the full story, including audio, visit MainePublic.org.

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