16 Jun 2016

Scientist says no conservation benefit in reserve expansion

9:04 am on 16 June 2016

A senior scientist from a regional fishing body says there's no conservation benefits in expanding Hawaii's protected waters.

Members of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council are opposing the plan to expand the Papahanaumokuakea Monument saying it would be detrimental to Hawaii's economy, food security and food production.

An executive order, given by President Obama in 2014, would increase the Monument five-fold and reduce the available fishing grounds in the exclusive economic zone around Hawaii from 63 to 15 percent.

The Scientist, Paul Dalzell, said claims that the monument's expansion would improve conservation were false.

"It will not improve things for fisheries or for the abundance of marine fish," he said.

"For a start off, it's open ocean so pelagic species just swim through it. It won't pile up there and then replenish fish stocks around the main Hawaiians."