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USA - How To Reform and Strengthen Fishery Habitat Protection

It has been a tumultuous year for the fishing industry and the coastal communities that rely on it.

The COVID-19 crisis closed restaurants and disrupted the global supply chain, making it difficult for fishermen to sell their catch. The Trump administration then opened federal waters to industrial aquaculture and rolled back protections for the Atlantic Ocean’s only marine national monument.1

The economic impact of these events was severe, and the outlook of long-term effects in many places is uncertain. The Trump administration has provided little aid to communities and has continued to pursue the failed trade policies that have directly harmed them.2 These effects are only heightened by climate change-driven harm to fisheries.3

In order to prevent the worst effects of climate change and ecosystem collapse, scientists say that 30 percent of America’s land and oceans must be protected by 2030.4 Yet while U.S. fisheries managers say they value and protect habitat, many of them have consistently opposed protecting it. Just last month, all of the U.S. fishery management councils, which are responsible for managing fishing in federal waters, asked President Donald Trump to allow industrial fishing in all U.S. marine national monuments.5

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