Friday | November 24, 2017
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Supporters of marine monument’s expansion deliver petition, letters

Supporters of expanding Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument delivered 67,000 letters and petitions to a liaison for Gov. David Ige on Thursday in Hilo.

The petition calls for expanding the monument to 200 nautical miles, the limit of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands exclusive economic zone. Its boundaries currently extend to 50 nautical miles.

“This would be the largest marine protected area in the world, and will inspire other countries to protect large portions of our oceans,” said state Sen. Russell Ruderman in a written statement from the group. “After many years of over fishing and pollution, such sanctuaries will help our oceans and our fisheries recover their health.”

Joining him Thursday were Jon Wong, a candidate for state House District 2; Kealoha Pisciotta, a member of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Native Hawaiian Cultural Working Group; Roxanne Stewart of Kai Palaoa; and others.

The working group wrote to the White House Council on Environmental Quality last April requesting the monument be expanded.

Under the proposal, Niihau and Kauai would remain outside the monument’s boundaries, in addition to two weather buoys for small-boat fishermen.

The proposal also requests the Office of Hawaiian Affairs be designated a co-trustee on the monument’s management committee.

 

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