The chairman of an influential fishing oversight board is urging President Barack Obama to seek more public input before making a ruling on a request for a national monument in the Atlantic Ocean.

Environmental advocates have asked the federal government to create such a monument in the Atlantic off New England.

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Chairman Douglas Grout says the proposal needs a hard look before approval.

He sent a letter to Obama on Thursday saying there has been a lack of the public input required to establish a monument under the American Antiquities Act. Grout also says there needs to be more analysis of the impact that establishing such a monument would have.

Grout cited the fact that the area is critical for the lobster and crab fisheries.

This month, a policy board of the commission said that it’s taking a position against the proposal.

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