Marine conservation Areas: President Trump’s Step Back

Despite the increasing visibility of the effectiveness of preserved areas, US President Donald Trump decided on Friday to reopen a protected area to commercial fishing, sweeping away in a few words the efforts to marine protection areas put in place by his predecessors.

During containment, we heard a lot about “post-covid”

When it is not the sharks that are slaughtered for their fins, the funds of the Marquesas plundered by industrial fishing or other disasters, Donald Trump consciously decides to deconstruct the efforts of the presidents who preceded him.

“We’re opening today”  

It’s with these words that the American president has swept away 4 years of struggle for the preservation of underwater life in the Atlantic Ocean bordering the American coast.

Indeed, this Friday, June 5 marks a new turning point for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. A marine protected area of New England. 

A signal of the clear lack of interest in the ecological issues of this president, this agreement came on World Environment Day.

Almost like a provocation…

National Monument: a status that also protects natural sites

The first of five marine national monuments created by President Obama in 2016 in its environmental policy, this 8,000 km2 marine area is located in Maine.

A national monument can be quickly declared as such by a president. However, this does not give the area the same protection of flora and fauna as national parks.

For the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument,  for example, recreational and commercial lobster and red crab fishing were still permitted.

Looking back

Yet, considering that the creation of this protected area by his predecessor was unfair to Maine fishermen, Donald Trump has reopened part of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument to commercial fishing.

Already in 2017, Donald Trump signed an executive order to review the status of some 30 of these national monuments. A real step backwards on the preservation of protected natural sites. Protection provided, in particular, by the 1906 Act. But also by the executive orders signed by Presidents Clinton and Obama.

The northeast canyons and seamounts of this part of the New England coast are home to vulnerable species such as whales and turtles. But they are also home to deep-sea corals found nowhere else on the planet.

Birth of a consciousness: what to do?

Unfortunately, our power of action is almost nil in the face of the decisions of this president. And we can only make the sad observation of a frantic economy that ignores environmental considerations.

However, in order not to stand idly by, we can rethink our own consumption patterns and make choices:

  • Reducing our fish consumption
  • Focus on local products
  • Moving towards sustainable fish
  • Trusting labels
  • Know the seasonal fish calendar

Read too : Diving And Eating Fish: The Unavoidable Contradiction ?

We can also choose to invest in associations to protect the marine world, support the causes that are dear to us, such as the shark protection initiative that I was talking about here.

Marine conservation areas, I too have a dream…

There was a big poster in my little girl’s room. Above, an image of a child advancing in a field and a quote:

“We don’t inherit our parents’ land, our children lend it to us”

– a missappropiated quotation whose origni is disputed

I dream of the day when the oceans will no longer be the property of the states. And that they will return to the universal heritage. Let us never forget that we are just passing on this planet. One day we will bequeath it to the generations that will survive us.

Do you have any leads to help preserve marine conservation areas?

Tell me this in comment below.

And… don’t forget to be happy 🤗

Hélène