July 3, 2014
When President Obama announced his intention to expand a marine sanctuary west of Hawaii, many environmentalists praised the move as a needed protection, but the region’s main fishing group says it could do more harm than good.
According to the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, made up of representatives from the fishing industry as well as some state and federal officials, the federal protections would unfairly penalize and economically harm the area’s fishermen, and the conservation effort may not even be enforceable.
“The NGOs push the president to make these monuments, then the NGOs leave, and the local government and the federal government are held to try to live up to the promises,” Sylvia Spalding, spokeswoman for the council, said. “But without the resources, we can’t.”