Zinke: Open Up First Atlantic Monument to Commercial Fishing

FILE – 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. The area is part of a chain of undersea formations about 150 miles off the coast of Massachusetts known as the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts, including the Mytilus Seamount. (NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research via AP, File)

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wants to open up the first marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean to commercial fishing.

Zinke made the recommendation in a memo to President Donald Trump. The memo touches on Zinke’s recommendations for a host of monuments, including Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.

President Barack Obama designated some 5,000 square miles off New England as a marine monument last year. Zinke’s memo says Obama’s proclamation should be amended to include commercial fishing activities regulated under federal law.

Conservationist groups slammed the recommendation on Monday, while fishing groups say they’ve been making the same proposal all along.

Trump ordered a review of national monuments earlier this year. The memo obtained by The Associated Press was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

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