Sen. Schatz Comments on National Monument Executive Order
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) released the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s executive order to review national monuments—including the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
“This Executive Order is unnecessary, and I believe that it will prove to be a waste of federal resources because the expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument had widespread support from the public and from Hawai‘i’s political leaders. The views of Native Hawaiians, Hawai‘i residents, Kaua‘i’s fishermen, the commercial longline fleet and scientists were all carefully considered before expanding the boundaries which were first laid out in President Bush’s Executive Order that created the PMNM in 2006.
“As a result, the proclamation expanding PMNM accounted for many interests:
- The boundaries were shaped specifically to allow Kaua‘i’s small boat fishermen to continue their long-held, traditional fishing practices and to allow longline fishermen to share the same area;
- The longline industry has suffered no economic impact. It has just had its most profitable year, just after expansion occurred, and this year will likely prove to be even more profitable;
- Native Hawaiians now play a greater role in managing the PMNM in recognition of the significance of this area to their cultural heritage;
- Hawai‘i has been recognized as a leader in ocean conservation that supports economic and environmental health. Ahi and swordfish will have a large intact ecosystem to recover, so that fisheries will stay profitable. Endangered species such as the Hawaiian monk seal will also benefit from a healthier ocean environment.
“Although unneeded, I am confident review will show we did the right thing the right way.”