LETTER: Papahanaumokuakea Expansion Will Impact Fishing
I am writing regarding the proposal to expand the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and to ban commercial fishing there (see story link below).
I work in Hawai‘i’s fishing industry, but besides it being my livelihood, it’s my love and passion.
Fish aren’t just a source of food to me or the people of Hawai‘i; they are a huge part of the culture.
Hawai‘i’s fishing industry and economy will be impacted the most if this monument is expanded.
I am strongly opposed to the expansion of this monument. We are already limited on located sourced food and this would take a significant amount of fresh fish away from Hawai‘i. Hawai‘i relies on foreign countries and the Mainland for imported food and with this expansion, it’ll get worse.
This fishery is one of the most documented and researched in the world. We are striving to fish in the most sustainable manner possible and we are the ones that will feel the negative impacts the most. If the monument does in fact expand, I propose that all commercial fishing be banned in those waters. This would include foreign fishing vessels, as well.
Our fishery is a model of sustainability. We have set the standard in many other fisheries and we are continuing to get better. Expanding this monument does not help any of us. It’ll do more harm than good.
Our fishery and our methods have very little environmental impact on our waters and our longliners need to be able to set their hooks and fish.
Please do not expand the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.