25 Sep 2014

US marine reserve to be expanded

3:35 pm on 25 September 2014

Despite widespread objections, the US President Barack Obama is tomorrow expected to declare a massive area of the Pacific Ocean off limits to commercial fishing and energy exploration.

Despite widespread objections, the US President Barack Obama is tomorrow expected to declare a massive area of the Pacific Ocean off limits to commercial fishing and energy exploration.

A White House fact sheet released today says Mr Obama will sign a proclamation tomorrow, expanding the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument into the largest marine reserve in the world.

Since Mr Obama announced his proposed plan to expand the Monument in June, local leaders and business people in American Samoa have written in opposition to the move.

They say the expansion would among other things spell economic disaster for the territory.

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council says the Monument proposal would provide no added conservation benefit to marine resources.

It says it would cause substantial economic losses to local fisheries and would stifle the traditional Pacific Islands fishing culture that has sustained local communities for centuries.

The proclamation will expand the existing Monument to six times its current size.

Fish

Photo: PHOTO NZ