June 1, 2016 — The following statement was released by Jon Williams, President of the New England Red Crab Harvester’s Association, in response to the passage of the ASMFC motion calling for the president not to declare a marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean:
“Never in the history of New England commercial fishing have we seen the entire industry and its regulatory bodies unite behind a single cause.
Yet with its recent unanimous vote on the marine monument designation, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission joined industry leaders in sending a clear message to the Obama administration: the current monument process poses a serious threat to effective ocean management, and would have disastrous environmental and economic impacts.
The ASMFC deserves the highest praise for both its strong regulatory record over these last decades, and for its current commitment to conservation efforts. The Atlantic Red Crab Company stands with the commission in our belief that allowing outside groups with far less expertise to take over ocean management is an entirely unnecessary threat to our fragile ecosystem.
We hope the Obama administration understands the importance of such unity within the commercial fishing community, and that it allows the ASMFC and NEFMC to continue their regulatory and conservation efforts.”