WASHINGTON D.C. — A federal appeals court upheld a lower court decision on Friday to dismiss a case brought by commercial fishing interests who argued President Barack Obama exceeded his authority when he gave special protected status to large areas of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Obama's designation was challenged by the Massachusetts Lobstermen's Association and other industry groups, made in 2016 under the Antique's Act, of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The two areas span about 5,000 square miles and are located about 130 miles southeast of Cape Cod.

“Today’s decision is a clear victory for our oceans and for the Atlantic’s only marine national monument,” said Peter Shelley, Senior Counsel at the Conservation Law Foundation. “This decision upholds protections for one of the most fragile and scientifically important areas in the North Atlantic from destructive activities like oil drilling and industrial fishing. Safeguarding the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts ensures that we are leaving a proud legacy for the people of New England.”

In 2016, Gov. Charlie Baker said he was disappointed by the monument's designation and that it “undermined” commercial and recreational fishing.

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