Protect Threatened Ocean Life from Unsustainable Fishing

Target: Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council

Goal: Discourage fishing inside protected marine region containing threatened ocean life.

Less than .1% of US Atlantic waters are now protected, leaving millions of species susceptible to extinction. The Trump administration has eased restrictions on fishing inside the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, exposing marine life to needless exploitation and harm. The monument, one of just five protected ocean regions in US coastal waters, is home to threatened right whales and coral reefs, both of which depend on robust populations of fish to thrive. Experts have pointed out that this decision won’t even provide any economic benefit since fishermen are already struggling to sell the stocks they do have.

Although New England’s fishermen deserve assistance as they work to weather the storm of COVID-19, the answer doesn’t lie in ravaging at-risk sea life. Instead, financial assistance can be offered to those who depend on the sea for their income without accelerating the decline of overburdened ecosystems. Sign the petition below to demand that this new rollback is actively worked against and fishermen discouraged from taking advantage of it.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Nies,

The recent decision to roll back protections against fishing in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument represents a grave threat to marine life in your jurisdiction. Without federal protections in place for this unique region, less than .1% of US Atlantic waters are now protected. Removing these protections will not help commercial fishing, nor will it significantly expand the area available to fishermen to conduct their trade, making this move both destructive and pointless.

I urge you to discourage fishing in this region until this decision can be challenged. As the head of regional marine conservation, it is your duty to protect vulnerable and unique marine life until firm protections can be reestablished.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration




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