The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts are a series of underwater canyons and inactive volcanoes near where the continental shelf plummets into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. Because this area is relatively untouched by human disruption and because the waters are cold and nutrient rich, the area has been invaluable for scientific study and preservation of rare species. Species like deep-sea corals, sponges, lobster, cod, herring, and flounder, live amongst the continental shelf. In addition, the area around the Bear, Physalia, Retriever and Mytilus seamounts are where migrating whales rest, where fish spawn, and where coral grow.
For a long time this area was untouched by human hands, being too deep and too cold to access. But as technology has improved and fishing industries have developed tools to fish deeper in the waters, the industry heads have demanded access to these waters.
And Trump has listened.
“Instead of showing real leadership to address the profound public health and economic crises and systemic inequity in our society, the President has made clear his priority is to push ahead his anti-environmental agenda and hand out favors to industry allies regardless of the circumstances or the law." said Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society, in a statement.
Marine animal populations have dropped by as much as 50 percent in the past 40 years. This is a catastrophe to the wild kingdom and means spaces like the Northeast Canyons should be protected. But the Trump Administration is rolling back Obama era protections that would fishing industries access to these waters.
"At a time when our country is in need of healing and unity we are once again watching bad decision-making rip apart science-based protections in the face of overwhelming public opposition. It's appalling that President Trump is taking illegal actions to gut environmental protections for our ocean treasures – protections that ensure these waters will be healthy and safe for future generations," said Williams.