Response due from feds in lawsuit to end Atlantic monument

April 10, 2018

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The federal government’s response to a lawsuit from fishermen trying to eliminate former President Barack Obama’s Atlantic Ocean monument is coming due.

The fishing groups sued to challenge the 2016 creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The monument is a 5,000-square-mile area off of New England and is the first monument of its kind in the Atlantic Ocean.

A federal court ordered the U.S. Department of Commerce to respond to the lawsuit by April 16. It was filed at U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Marine national monuments are underwater areas designed to protect unique or vulnerable ecosystems. Fishing groups say it takes too large of an area away from fishermen who harvest valuable species such as lobsters and crabs.

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