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December 15, 2017

Zinke recommends commercial fishing in Atlantic national monument

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended that commercial fishing activity resume in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, which lies outside the Gulf of Maine.

The Bangor Daily News reported that the recommendation was made as part of Zinke's review released on Dec. 5 of 27 monuments, including Katahdin Woods and Waters.

Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, created by President Obama in 2016, encompasses nearly 5,000 square miles. The creation of the monument was praised by several environmental groups, but criticized by several commercial fishing groups, who said it hampered their livelihoods and was established without adequate input from fishermen.

The monument is outside of the range of most Maine fishermen but environmentalists consider it an area worth preserving for its biodiversity.

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