AZA News Releases

AZA Statement on Reducing the Protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

Silver Spring, MD - Just days ahead of World Oceans Day, President Donald Trump today signed a proclamation rolling back provisions that would allow commercial fishing in the Northeastern Atlantic Canyon and Seamounts National Marine Monument. Following the announcement, Dan Ashe, President and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), issued the following statement:

“This Marine National Monument is part of our nation’s ocean heritage. It is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System and has been set aside to help protect species that are in danger of extinction, like the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale. It is shocking that the President, without any public process, any consideration, public record, or scientific evidence, would take this action. It is certain to be challenged, and likely will be blocked.

AZA and its members strongly support our National Marine Monuments. They are the nation’s “blue parks” and are a vitally important part of our natural heritage.

We must do all in our power to protect these ocean treasures now and into the future.”

In June 2016, AZA, along with over a dozen of its members and a broad coalition of environmental NGOs, wrote to then-President Barack Obama to urge him to provide permanent protection for what would become the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.

About AZA

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and 12 other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit


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