Obama plans to Create World's Largest Ocean Preserve
President Obama announced today that he will use his executive authority to set aside up to 780,000 square miles of ocean as a preserve. No fishing or drilling will be permitted in these waters. Obama is basing this action on maritime law, which states that a country has economic control of all waters extending 200 nautical miles from its coast.
The President's action will expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, which President George W. Bush designated to protect unique species and rare geological formations. These waters are considered U.S. territory since they surround a lot of mostly uninhabited American-controlled islands between Hawaii and American Samoa.
President Obama stated:
“If we ignore these problems, if we drain our oceans of their resources, we won't just be squandering one of humanity's greatest treasures. We'll be cutting off one of the world's major sources of food and economic growth, including for the United States. We cannot afford to let that happen.”
Obama also plans to create a government program to crack down on black market fishing and seafood fraud, i.e. when seafood products are falsely labeled in order to hide their origin. About twenty percent of the fish caught each year are part of the black market, which costs the legitimate fishing industry $23 billion. A spokesperson from the conservation group Oceana said:
“President Obama's announcement is a historic step forward in the fight against seafood fraud and illegal fishing worldwide. This initiative is a practical solution to an ugly problem and will forever change the way we think about our seafood.”
Undoubtedly, conservatives will flip into Outrage Mode over our power-crazed president exceeding his authority by making a detour around that giant blob of shit in the middle of the road (formerly known as Congress).