27 Sep 2014

US amends marine reserve plan to accommodate fishing industries

6:42 am on 27 September 2014

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 today.

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, who led the charge opposing the original plan, has welcomed the move.

It says it's pleased Mr Obama considered the economic and cultural concerns of American citizens, particularly in Hawaii and American Samoa, which would have been most affected by the expansion.

A senior scientist with the Council, Paul Dalzell, says he is pleased the President listened to what people had to say.

"They've actually paid attention that we do regard these fishing grounds as being potentially very valuable and that their lost would incur harm on our long line purse-seine fishery