08/21/2009 - It's a tough, even mythical thing to do, to find middle ground for both environmental and business interests in one fell swoop. But both groups seem to be approving a move made late last night by Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. Addressing issues of collapsing fisheries and the decline of ocean health that is leading to and being caused by climate change, Locke made a sweeping move to limit the expansion of commercial fishing in U.S. waters in the north Pacific. Set to go into effect as soon as next year, the plan would halt increased industrial fishing over a 200,000-square-mile area in the icy waters of the Beaufort Sea as scientists can further research local species like Arctic cod and snow crab currently over sought by commercial vessels.
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[E]nvironmental groups answered with a loud refrain. Washington-based ocean advocacy group The Ocean Conservancy called the decision a "landmark" one, championing federal leadership on halting the degradation of a formerly untouched area. "This is a crucial step towards ensuring good decision-making in the Arctic Ocean for the indigenous communities that depend on its abundance as well as for the many marine mammals and other species that live there," said Marilyn Heiman, director of the Pew Environment Group's Arctic program.
Read the full article Impossible? Commerce Secretary Locke Appeases Both Environmentalists and Industry Heads on Newsweek's The Gaggle blog.