Possible changes to fishing regulations within the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument could allow cultural fishing practices, although such changes are also viewed as “harmful ” to Native Hawaiian traditions.
This week the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, or Wespac, in its, will consider options in a list of alternative commercial and noncommercial fishing regulations in the monument.
The Papahanaumokuakea monument, located around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, is one of the largest fully protected conservation areas in the world, covering around 580, 000 square miles of ocean.
There has been no fishing activity in the monument since former President Barack Obama established a “monument expansion area (MEA )” in 2016 that prohibited commercial fishing. Noncommercial fishing is allowed, but there isn’t a permitting process in place to give fishers entry into those waters to fish.
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