Today, the Pacific Fishery Management Council sent a letter to President Obama expressing concern about “how these National Monument designations would impact our fishery management efforts in the west coast Exclusive Economic Zone.”
In it, the Council stresses:
- All of the areas proposed for designation already have significant protections from specific fishing activities. For example – Essential Fish Habitat requirements under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; and Cowcod Conservation Areas off the Southern California coast.
- Fishery management decisions are best done in a thoroughly transparent public process rather than being done with limited involvement of certain stakeholders.
- The social and economic importance of those areas cannot be understated.
Based on our track record of collaboration, effective fisheries and habitat management, the Pacific Council recommends fishery management decisions in the US West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone remain exclusively under authority of the MSA. (Page 3)