Trump Ocean policy criticised

Donald Trump The Trump Administration's new policy aims to "provide economic, security, and environmental benefits". Credit: PhotosForClass.com

The Trump Administration in the US has issued a new executive order which rescinds and replaces the previous Administration’s national policy for the ‘Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes.’

Issued on 19 June, the executive order regarding the ‘Ocean Policy to Advance the Economic, Security, and Environmental Interests of the United States’ stated the country will “coordinate the activities of executive departments and agencies (agencies) regarding ocean-related matters to ensure effective management of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes waters and to provide economic, security, and environmental benefits for present and future generations of Americans.”

Seafood Harvesters of America stated: “It encourages oil drilling and other industrial uses of our oceans and Great Lakes, emphasizes export opportunities afforded by our marine resources and closely links those opportunities with national security.”

Economic plan

Also encompassed in the policy is promoting the lawful use of the ocean by agencies, including United States Armed Forces, facilitating the economic growth of coastal communities and promote ocean industries; ensuring that Federal regulations and management decisions do not prevent productive and sustainable use of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes waters; modernising the acquisition, distribution, and use of the best available ocean-related science and knowledge; and facilitating coordination, consultation, and collaboration regarding ocean-related matters.

Under the new order, decision-making on ocean policy is presided over by an Ocean Policy Committee with stakeholder input on ocean policy involving two sub-committees on science & technology and resource management.

Seafood Harvesters stressed it is “committed to being a part of the process as this Administration develops policies for offshore resource extraction.”

It added: “Our messages to the committees will be straight-forward: that all of their decisions must be driven by science; that the benefits resulting from those decisions must outweigh the costs; and that those benefits accrue not to foreign entities, but to the American people.”

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