Fishermen Sue to Reverse Obama’s Last-Minute Ocean Grab

(Emily Larsen, Liberty Headlines) The legality of President Obama’s “marine monument,” the first of its kind, is in question.

Penny Pritzker photo

Penny Pritzker Photo by CommerceGov (CC)

A coalition of commercial fishing groups filed a lawsuit which challenges the designation of the area as a national monument. Fishing is not allowed on the monument. The fishermen, represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation, say that the Antiquities Act only gives the President power to designate land as a national monument, and argue the ocean isn’t land.

Obama used the Antiquities Act to declare the area in question – the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument – in September 2016. Nearly 5,000 square miles of ocean and underwater canyons 130 miles off the coast of New England make up the disputed monument. The area is roughly the size of Connecticut.

“This critical marine area, which serves as important habitat for pelagic fish species, corals, whales, sea turtles, sea birds and other species, will now be protected and preserved for future generations, serving as an important natural laboratory for research and enhanced understanding of the impacts of climate change on our oceans,” former Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said in a press release when the monument was first designated.

The North Atlantic right whale population is of particular concern to many marine biologists. There are only 524 whales left in the population. There were only three whale births this year during calving season, and there were four mortalities due to entanglements and ship strikes last year.

But the Pacific Legal Foundation says the monument could hurt the marine life it seeks to help.

“Beyond its violation of the law, the monument designation also threatens to harm the environment by pushing fishermen to other, less sustainable fisheries, and increasing conflicts between their gear and whales,” said attorney Jonathan Wood in a press release.

At issue is whether it’s legal to designate a marine zone as a monument under the Antiquities Act, and if the area designated meets the requirements to be the smallest area possible. The Pacific Legal Foundation argues the answer to both of these questions is no.

“[T]he ocean, where the monument is located, is not ‘land,’ nor is it federally owned or controlled,” said Wood. “The monument designation is also not confined to the smallest necessary area; On the contrary, its sprawling boundaries bear no relation to the underwater canyons and seamounts it is supposed to protect. In short, the designation of a vast area of ocean as a national monument was a blatant abuse of presidential power.”

The monument could be detrimental to the fishing industry and other potential industrial development in the area, although the exact economic impact is unclear.

When Sweden introduced a proposal to ban American lobster imports in the European Union, lobstermen would have seen a $125 million loss in exports in Massachusetts alone. The proposal was dropped in October.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage asked President Trump to intervene and reverse the monument designation. However, the Antiquities Act doesn’t give the President the power to reverse the designation, only to declare one. Rep. Rob Bishop, a Utah Republican and the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, also urged President Trump to remove the fishing ban on the marine monument, calling the prohibitions a “clear example of federal overreach.”

President Obama designated 29 areas as monuments under the Antiquities Act during his time in office. President George W. Bush designated six areas as monuments, and President Bill Clinton designated 19 areas, during their terms as president.

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  • PPTA

    Just another slam at American Citizens who are trying to make a honest living, as they have done for years. Obama does not think Like a American Citizen. he does not believe like a American. Read his two books like I did.

    • badass

      that black Ahole is our enemy, potentially.

      • andrew

        I WANT to know, what the little sonofabitch is doing still walking free ???

        • The duck

          Why is he still walking?

    • BR549

      That’s because he ISN’T an American. At least he wasn’t when he was in college and getting assistance. If he opened up his personal information, he’d be found to be either a consummate LIAR or NOT an American.

      • Patricia Olsen

        A fake kenya born, forged birth certificate of a gay black man with a tranny ma/wife with adopted children fathered by his personal friends as a pretend leader of the USA that he hates. A mislim white hater.

    • delbert morris

      I won’t read anything he has to say.

    • Name

      That is because he was not raise as an American. He was raised as a Kenyan Muslim.

  • badass

    The fundamental way is to strip obama’s pension, completely. why should i allow him to spend my money? because he’s a traitor to American people.

    • obfuscation100

      Don’t stop there: strip his Ex-President income, Pension, Medical Care, Insurance, Secret Service detail (for the entire family) and Air Force Plane. Harry Truman must be spinning in his grave to see how that traitor is treated like a Saudi prince. When Harry left DC to go back to MO, he and Bess drove themselves in their own car.

      • badass

        great great idea, thank you.

  • Amethyst_2012

    Although I believe that Obama is a cancer on USA and infact the entire world, and whereas I know he has never done one decent thing for Americans, I have to say. This marine-whale-fish thing does need another go-over. If whales die if they don’t have 300 sq mi. then we have to protect them before they are extinct. We need to hear the other side of this situation. It does seem to be an excessive amount of water being covered. On the other hand we know what irresponsible practices some fisherman have been responsible for. We need more information about this marine situation.

    • needful

      i agree also, obama is a total a**hole but i’m with you on this one.

    • Daniel Yingling

      The problem with it is that Obama set aside more land than all the presidents combined since the National Parks were created and the reasons are not to save any wildlife.
      He did it to reduce the land and sea avaliable to be farmed or fished or developed so that less people can live outside of cities.
      It also forces the price of fish and potential agriculture up and up. Less land and sea, less people, less freedom to roam.

  • William Wajert Sr

    The typical overreach of the illegal WH usurper these past 8 years.

  • myfordtruck

    being this slug is not a American Citizen nothing he did should hold up

  • pevans1

    Eff Him! I’m going fishing!

  • Like are fishing fleet catches whales. Let our fishermen fish where-ever they want.

  • The antiquities act need to be recinded

    • obfuscation100

      Spot on. What a crock! It’s nothing but un-Constitutional land-grabbing. Those bureaucrats will steal anything that’s not nailed down and protected with a few RPGs.

      • I agree in Colorado they have take much of our good hunting fishing and hiking areas, with this antiquities act. It is un-constitutional and bill Clinton and Obama should be prosecuted for violating The Constitution

  • jackel

    The last 8 years was a blatant abuse of presidential power to say the least; influenced by special interests with plenty of money but little substance and total disregard for any good impact for the American people—-welcome to the Democratic left!! And, remember, under H. Clinton, and Obama, these abuses would have been accelerated; no fishing in America, but allowed else where! Another American industry destroyed by them—-commercial fishing!!!!

  • Amethyst_2012

    I’ve got some bad names for the people that voted for him. And really, really bad names for people that voted for him twice. The ones that voted for him twice are also a cancer on society, just as much as Obama was.

  • Sheileagh

    The ill-advised & useless ‘messes’ created by the past administration will continue to infringe & interfere with American lives & livelihoods for some time to come!

  • Amethyst_2012

    Something like his 57 states. Muslims have 57 countries and that is what he was referring to. But the people didn’t impeach him over that. Why not? Who is dumber, Obama or the voters?

    • dannbunn

      Easy answer, the voters that voted for him.Obama did exactly what he told them what he was going to do; “Fundamentally change the United States of America”, and he did it, all with the help of our citizens. The people enabled him all the way.

  • dannbunn

    Fidel, you didn’t finish your post on Obama, Please read my description of him I sent to Sheileagh.