US Pacific marine reserve plan amended
The US President has amended his Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to accommodate economically vital fishing industries for Hawaii and US Pacific Islands.
The US President has amended his Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to accommodate economically vital fishing industries for Hawaii and the U.S. Pacific Islands.
Barack Obama announced in June that the Monument would be expanded into the largest marine reserve in the world and would be off limits to commercial fishing and energy exploration.
He has now revised the plan which will expand the monument to include the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zones surrounding Johnston Atoll, Jarvis Island and Wake Island.
He signed the proclamation on Friday.
The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, who led the charge opposing the original plan, has welcomed the move.
A senior scientist with the Council, Paul Dalzell, told Moera Tuilaepa-Taylor they are pleased President Obama listened to what people had to say.
PAUL DALZELL: When we heard that it was those two fishing grounds, I was pleased that the President and his advisors had listened not to just to this council but to representatives of the Longline association of the purse seiners, the American tuna boat association and also the canning industry, so that they actually paid attention that we do regard these fishing grounds as being potentially valuable, and their loss would incur harm on our long line and purse seine fisheries.
MOERA TUILAEPA-TAYLOR: How important is this area?
PD: If you look at the amount of the USA and you look at where all the big marine protected areas are, they are all out in the Western Pacific, someone told me 90 to 95 percent of the no take, no fishing marine protected areas are now in the Western Pacific and that's been through the environmental legacies of 3 Presidents, Clinton, Bush and now Obama. So we think we have done our bit for conservation basically out here in the Western Pacific. I think we have managed to maintain sustainable healthy fisheries and to conserve ecosystems.
MTT: Your council, the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, how many fishing industries or fishing operations do you deal with.
PD: Our biggest fishery is the Hawaii long-line fishery, which has got about 145 vessels, then we have a 20 to 25 vessel fleet in American Samoa, again long-liners, but we also deal with the United Fishing agency auction which is the main channel of fish for commercial sale in Honolulu. We also deal with Tautai of Samoa which is a long-line association in American Samoa, we deal with the long-line association here again in Hawaii, we deal with the Guam fisherman's cooperative, I think there is a fishery cooperative going to be set up in Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. On a day to day basis we might with any of those different folks. There are folks in the seafood trade, particularly here in Hawaii who we might deal with, altogether I think there are 600 people who are directly employed by the fishing and seafood industry in Honolulu, and that number becomes even bigger if you start to consider guys in supermarkets cutting fish and also all the service industries to service the seafood industry.
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