President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he will open up a conservation area in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New England to commercial fishing.
The move allows commercial fishing to resume in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, a sanctuary created in the United States in 2016 during the Obama administration.
Environmental groups and some recreational fishermen warned that allowing commercial fishing in these areas undermines the protections established by the monument designations. It puts marine wildlife, including endangered whales and sea turtles, sharks, and fragile corals in danger of harm and entanglement in fishing nets.
Trump signed a proclamation on opening the area during a visit to Maine. He also announced he would create a task force to identify international markets for U.S. seafood.
The commercial seafood industry and regional fishery management councils have pressed the Trump administration to restore commercial fishing in federal waters closed off under monument protection.