Tell Trump No Commercial Fishing in Marine National Monuments
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Industrial fishing interests in the Pacific Ocean have requested that President Trump open four marine national monuments to commercial fishing. Established by President GW Bush, these are America's healthiest protected areas in the Pacific ocean.
The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council sets the fishing seasons and annual catch limits in the western Pacific. Also known as WESPAC, the council told the president that “quick action is urgently needed” to meet “exceptionally high retail demand” for canned tuna as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The request from the council arrived in Washington a day after Trump signed an executive order unveiling a broad initiative aimed at promoting economic growth and competitiveness of the U.S. seafood industry.
In 2018 President Trump directed Secretary Ryan Zinke at the Department of the Interior to review all national monument designations on federal public land since 1996 that are 100,000 acres or more in size. According to a copy of the report obtained by The Washington Post September 19, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended that President Trump modify 10 national monuments created under the last 3 administrations, shrinking the boundaries of at least four western sites, and three marine monuments. The final revised report has been released recommending reduction in 7 National Monuments and three marine national monuments.
Although currently challenged in court, mining and deforestation are currently occurring in the Bears Ears and the Staircase Escalante National Monuments in Utah, greenlighted by the Whitehouse.
The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument consists of Wake, Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, and Palmyra Atoll which lie to the south and west of Hawaii. These islands host some of the most abundant and diverse marine life in US waters and many endangered species not found elsewhere. This action could potentially impact over 1 billion acres of natural and cultural treasures on public lands and oceans that have been protected by presidents of both political parties, including one of the world's largest marine protected area.
Removing this protective status will place America's most loved natural and cultural areas at risk to logging, mining, oil exploration and fishing. Under the Act, only Congress has the clear authority to reduce or nullify a monument designation, not the president. Show your support for our National Monuments and maintain their current status established by the 3 past presidents to protect our natural and cultural heritage.
Fishing interests claim the protected regions are negatively affecting tuna catch. Earlier this year, a team of economists and scientists published a study in Nature that found the monuments’ expansion had “little if any negative impacts” on the catch. In fact, the team found that Hawaii’s longline fleet caught more fish after the monuments were expanded.
Allowing industrial fishing in the Pacific Ocean's most healthy and pristine waters is equivalent to clear cutting the thousand year old redwoods in Sequoia National Park, destroying complex coral ecosystems and threatening sharks, sea turtles and whales.
President Trump and WESTPAC leave the monuments as is and leave full protected status for these ocean treasures.
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