Thu, Sep

Deep sea coral in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The monument provides protections for ecological resources and marine species, including deep-sea corals; sperm, fin, and sei whales; Kemp's ridley sea turtles; and, deep-sea fish.


According to a 19-page memo obtained by the Associated Press, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommends reducing the size of multiple national monuments and opening them up to commercial development.

President Donald Trump ordered a review of 27 national monument sites in April 2017. National monument designations often include limits on human activity, such as fishing, in the case of marine monuments.

Zinke’s recommendation includes reducing the size of two marine monuments in the Pacific, while a third monument off the Massachusetts coast would be modified to allow commercial fishing. Commercial fishing also would be allowed at two Pacific sites.

Recommendations within the draft memo include:
1. Northeast Canyons and Seamounts: allow commercial fishing
2. Pacific Remote Islands National Monument: boundary revision to allow commercial fishing
3. Rose Atoll National Monument: boundary revision to allow commercial fishing

The memo was submitted to the White House in August 2017 and has not been officially released. It can be read here.