President Donald Trump issued an executive order Tuesday overhauling U.S. management of ocean resources to encourage offshore development and harvesting.
The order is a significant departure from Obama-era ocean management policy, prioritizing the economic growth of coastal communities more in relations to marine habitat conservation. (RELATED: Obama Banned Fishing In 5,000 Square Miles Of Rich Ocean — Fishermen Want It Back)
“[The National Ocean Industries Association] welcomes today’s Executive Order addressing policy for the nation’s oceans, particularly as it addresses the previous administration’s National Ocean Policy and its Marine Spatial Planning initiative, which caused consternation, uncertainty and concern for the offshore energy industry and other ocean stakeholders,” NOIA President Randall Luthi said in a statement. “The offshore oil and gas industry and many others have largely viewed the MSP initiative as an uber-bureaucratic ‘solution’ to a government self-imposed problem.”
The environmental group Ocean Conservancy called the order “short-sighted” and detrimental to the ocean’s health.
“In stark contrast to the ocean leadership and vision laid out during two previous administrations, this one is rolling back federal ocean commitments that will jeopardize the long-term health of the ocean,” Ocean Conservancy CEO Janis Searles Jones said in a statement. “We are disappointed that this administration is retreating from a holistic ocean policy that had sustainability at its core.”
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