The article discussed the “Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning” conservation law. The law envisages nine new regional planning councils, comprised of high federal, state and tribal officials “empowered to make binding and authoritative decisions on behalf of their respective agencies.”
The article outlined the potential impacts of the conservation law, and whether it will benefit those in the fishing industry. It projects that in a battle of tradeoffs as between oil and mineral extraction, transportation, recreational use, national security, aquaculture, renewable-energy development and, most significantly, “sustained ecosystem functions and services,” it seems unlikely that commercial fishermen will walk away from the table with greater fishing opportunities. The article concludes that the Administration would need new legal authority to implement this new administrative system, but that the objectives of better coordination of marine-based activities can be accomplished through existing processes.