AP (via Yahoo!) reports that the Bush Administration has established three protected zones in the Pacific Ocean, using national monument status to protect the areas from fishing and mining.
All will be protected as national monuments — the same status afforded to statues and cultural sites — under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The law allows the government to immediately phase out commercial fishing and other extractive uses.
However, recreational fishing, tourism and scientific research with a federal permit could still occur inside the three areas. The designations will not conflict with U.S. military activities or freedom of navigation, White House officials said.