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Fishers sue to get rid of Obama’s New England ocean monument

PORTLAND, Maine — A coalition of commercial fishing groups has filed a lawsuit to challenge the creation of a national monument off the coast of New England.

Then-President Barack Obama created the monument in September using executive authority under the Antiquities Act. The monument is called the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, and it is made up of nearly 5,000 square miles of underwater canyons and mountains.

The creation of the monument closed the area to most commercial fishing and has been opposed by fishing groups for months. Some of the groups filed their lawsuit on Tuesday in federal court.

The groups say the creation of the monument was a “unilateral” action by Obama that is bringing economic distress to fishermen and their families. They want its creation ruled unlawful.