CNMI fishing community venture into live fire zone

6:34 pm on 20 July 2015

A fishing community in the Northern Marianas has set itself up inside an area eyed by the US military for its live fire training exercises.

Pagan Island

Pagan Island Photo: Supplied

The Saipan Tribune reports 20 native residents of Pagan island are planning to bottom fish and troll for tuna, mahi-mahi and marlin in the same region as anti-submarine exercises.

The US Navy is planning to detonate underwater mines as part of the exercises.

The Northern Island mayor, Jerome Aldan, says he wants to develop a viable fishing community which would see fish being caught, processed and exported from around Pagan using both modern and traditional methods.

Last week, an independent consultant, Nicholas Yost, said the environmental impact statement for the United States military training in the Northern Marianas is "woefully inadequate".

But the executive director of the US Marine Corps for the Pacific, Craig Wheldon, says plans have already been modified to restrict live-fire on Pagan to a certain area.

He says the US wants to be a good steward of the environment and is listening to concerns.