28 Apr 2008

CNMI lawmakers oppose marine sanctuary proposal

1:28 pm on 28 April 2008

The Legislature in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas has adopted a resolution opposing the proposed marine monument in the Northern Islands.

The House of Representatives has approved a resolution asking President George Bush not to unilaterally declare the Uracas, Maug, and Asuncion islands as a marine sanctuary.

The Senate has adopted the resolution unanimously.

In their resolution, the lawmakers said there has been little dialogue between the U.S. and CNMI governments on the proposal.

They said that most of the CNMI citizens have not and would not formally endorse the proposal until more information is gathered and considered.

The lawmakers also expressed concern that the designation would prevent fishing and mining activities within the 185,000 square kilometre area that is being eyed for the Northern Islands Marine National Monument.