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Mitchell: Trump Revisiting Marine Monuments ‘A Good Thing’

Courtesy City of New Bedford
Courtesy City of New Bedford

On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order that orders a review of the lands and seas designated as national monuments over the past 20 years.

These areas were designated as national monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906, and that includes President Obama’s designation last fall of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. These were the first such monuments in the Atlantic Ocean, and have had a huge impact on New Bedford’s commercial fishing industry.

Mayor Jon Mitchell has been fighting the national monument designation ever since, and in his weekly appearance on WBSM, Mitchell said the Trump administration reviewing the designation is “a good thing.”

“There’s a big problem with the monument designation,” he said. “It wasn’t the right outcome. It didn’t have to intrude upon the established fishing grounds the way it did, and there was also a big problem with the process.”

“The process didn’t include scientific peer review, not a lot of public input, not much in the way of stakeholder input in the fishing industry,” he said.

Mitchell said he’s “fought it tooth and nail” since last year, and was on the phone with the White House as recently as Tuesday pushing the issue. He said he’s also had good conversations with Senator Ed Markey and Senator Elizabeth Warren regarding the marine monuments.

“The time will come where this all gets revisited,” Mitchell said. “I don’t see it entirely in the rear-view mirror, and I’m glad the president announced he’d revisit it.”

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