15 Jun 2016

Regional fishing body opposes expansion of Hawaii monument

1:48 pm on 15 June 2016

A regional fishing body is opposing the planned expansion of United States protected waters around Hawaii.

Members of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council have raised their concerns about the sustainability of local fishing if Hawaii's Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument was expanded.

The proposal would increase the protected zone fivefold and could reduce the available fishing grounds in the US exclusive economic zone waters around Hawaii from 63 percent to 15 percent.

A former council chair, Manny Duenas, says Hawaii's fisheries is highly dependent on it's EEZ and the expansion would be detrimental to its economy, food security and food production.

"The Hawaii fisheries is purely domestic. They have about 95 percent of their fish feeds the people of Hawaii. And to close those waters, it actually puts the fisherman of Hawaii in a smaller box."

Manny Duenas