New England Marine National Monuments – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Marine National Monument?
Marine National Monuments and Marine National Sanctuaries are marine protected areas. The main difference between sanctuaries and monuments is the designation process and the laws under which they are established.

How are Marine National Monuments designated?
Monuments are designated by Presidential Proclamation under the Antiquities Act of 1906. This act grants the President broad power to set aside public areas for protection and requires no public process.

How many Marine National Monuments are there currently?
There are four Marine National Monuments which are all in the Pacific Ocean – Marianas Trench, Pacific Remote Islands, Rose Atoll, and Papahanaumokuakea.

Is recreational fishing allowed in Marine National Monuments?
Currently, yes. In 2014, President Obama recognized the compatibility of recreational fishing access within marine monument designations when he expanded the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument and allowed recreational fishing to continue.

Is recreational fishing compatible with conservation?
Not only is it compatible with conservation, it compliments it as well. In addition to the $1.5 billion that recreational fishing contributes to fisheries management and conservation through excise taxes, fishing licenses, and donations, we also spend countless hours volunteering for aquatic restoration projects.

How are these areas currently managed?
The New England Fishery Management Council recently completed an extensive process that resulted in habitat protections for numerous areas off the New England coast. Overall, these designations were science-based and only placed restrictions on fishing activities that posed threats to the habitat that the designations are intended to protect. Permanent protections for any of these areas should mimic existing regulations and continue to allow recreational fishing throughout the water column.


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