National Marine Sanctuaries

Marine Monuments Remain at Risk

The three-million-acre monument was designated in September 2016 by former-president Barrack Obama under authority granted by the 1906 Antiquities Act. Since then, commercial fishing, with the exception of lobster and red crab fishing, has been banned within the monuments boundaries. 

In Zinke’s report, he recommends the authority for regulating fishing in the area be returned to the New England Fishery Management Council, which was established under the 1976 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. 

Marine Sanctuaries Under Attack for Resources

National marine sanctuaries are similar to underwater national parks. Although fishing is allowed in many of them, offshore oil and gas drilling is banned in all of them, as is underwater mining and other activities that could harm wildlife or the environment. In the 45 years since President Richard Nixon started the program, no president has ever reduced or eliminated a national marine sanctuary.