Continued authorization of recreational fishing within the new Sanctuary is essential to the industry and continued great fishing opportunities for citizens throughout the U.S. The designation comes as part of the Administration’s commitment to curb the negative impacts of climate change to the ocean (30 x 30 campaign). The Canyon begins approximately 100 miles off the shores of New York and New Jersey, with a portion overlapping the recently leased wind energy sites in the New York Bite region, continues seaward 350 miles, is 7.5 miles wide, and 2 – 2.5 miles deep and comprises the largest submarine canyon off the U.S. East Coast. Because of its extreme natural features and great marine life diversity, the Canyon is recognized by many as an ecological hotspot. At the same time, the Canyon is integral to the “regional economy, underpinning commercial and recreational fisheries, recreational diving, whale watching, and birding.” Federal publications note the Canyon could serve as a sentinel site for NOAA to monitor the impacts of climate change on submarine canyons, which are vulnerable to the effects of ocean acidification and oxygen depletion.
TBF will monitor the processes, and maintain a strong position in support of the continuation of recreational fishing within the boundaries of the proposed Sanctuary. TBF will share our comments once they are drafted.