Adapted from an item in Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in GoLocal24.com
President Trump wants to at least delay the implementation of President Obama’s executive order creating the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Monument, which covers nearly 5,000 square miles way off Cape Cod. After a transition period of several years, the area would be closed to commercial fishing. And it would be immediately shut to oil and natural gas exploration and drilling whenA and if the order is implemented.
The monument is along the edge of the Continental Shelf and provides a home for a very rich mix of animal and plant life.
The president has shown little interest in environmental/ecological matters and his instinct is to let fishermen and fossil-fuel people grab everything that’s there. And most fishing groups have shown little interest in protecting the area. They want to take as many fish as they can as fast as they can.
But they might bear in mind that such ecologically rich areas play large roles in maintaining the eco-systems over unprotected adjacent areas. (Note in the accompanying map how small the designed protected area is.) That means that protecting this relatively small area will help maintain fish populations around it. Protecting it could improve commercial fishing off southeastern New England.
It’s unclear whether Trump even has the authority to undo the Obama action, and the whole thing could well play out in the courts. But then the president has such a short attention span, he may forget all about it.