Is diving in one of the USA’s National Marine Monuments on your bucket list? For a few of them, you miiiight wanna get to them sooner rather than later.

Remember this past summer when U.S. President Donald Trump signed executive orders that authorized the Interior Department and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to review the National Marine Sanctuaries and National Marine Monuments that have been established over the past decade?

Well, this week Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke released his department’s final report “outlining recommendations he made to the President on some national monument designations under the Antiquities Act.”

The report includes recommendations on three National Marine Monuments: (1) Rose Atoll in American Samoa; (2) the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM) off Howland, Baker and Jarvis Islands as well as Johnston, Wake and Palmyra Atolls and Kingman Reef; and (3) the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument (NCSMNM) southeast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

In all three monuments, commercial fishing is severely restricted.

The report’s main recommendations for the three monuments are that the presidential proclamations that established those monuments should be “amended” to allow the local or regional fishery management councils to make fishery-management decisions.

Think this is a great idea? Think it’s a monumentally (pun intended) bad one? Read the DOI announcement here and the full report here (the Marine Monuments are on pages 15-18) and sound off in the forums. (Note: Be nice to one another! There’s enough vitriol in the world as it is.)

John Liang

John Liang is the News Editor at DeeperBlue.com. He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.

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