Page 1 of letter

NEWPORT, RI – William Palombo of Palombo Fishing Corp. released his personal letter to Secretary Ryan Zinke of the United States Department of the Interior on July 10th, 2017.

Palombo’s personal plea to Secretary Zinke and President Trump stems from former President Obama’s designation, on September 15, 2016, of an underwater Marine Monument in the Atlantic Ocean Canyons and Seamount area in depths of less than 900 meters.  The designation came after the former President utilized his authority under the Antiquities Act, superseding a transparent and public process currently underway in New England to protect the Atlantic Ocean habitat and coral in question.

Palombo is asking Trump’s administration to modify the current boundaries and/or fishing restrictions of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Monument with the goal of eliminating the negative impacts to his domestic fishing fleet which fishes in this area. One of his boats, the f/v Freedom, has fished for 25 years with 100% of its gear in this area.  Despite fears expressed by environmental groups that lobstermen will eventually fish deeper than 600 meters once the technology is available, lobsters do not reside at these deeper depths.  The environmental groups, who proposed the monument areas to President Obama, deemed Palombo’s fishing areas, “PRISTINE” – even after 40 years of fishing and trapping in this region. If the current administration is willing to modify the starting depth of the underwater monument to 900 meters, where the delicate corals primarily reside, then Palombo can continue his “clean trapping” practices and preserve his business and the livelihood of the captains and crews of his fleet.

For over a year, members of the offshore fishing industries worked tirelessly with State personnel, Governors’ offices, and Congressional offices to try to dissuade the prior administration from closing this vast productive area of the Atlantic to commercial fisherman.  Palombo hopes that the current administration will reevaluate the marine monument designation and look at the facts which were not previously considered.  Jurisdiction to manage the fisheries in the Monument area is already contained in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act, administered by regional Fishery Councils, Commissions and NOAA Fisheries.

In April, Trump requested the Interior Department review 27 national monuments created since 1996, with an eye to overturning or reducing the size of some to increase development opportunities.

Palombo Fishing, Corp. is located in Newport, Rhode Island.  This organization primarily catches lobsters in the North Atlantic outside of 30 miles. Palombo has been operating for approximately 46 years. Palombo Fishing, Corp. is estimated to generate $2.9 million in annual revenues, and employs approximately 20 people at this single location.  His fishing fleet includes: f/v Endeavor, f/v Freedom, and f/v Timothy Michael.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.