Would Hawaii Marine Monument Expansion Hurt The Tuna Industry?

Conservationists and others are crying foul over letters that state lawmakers recently sent President Obama that urged him to not consider expanding the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. They’re specifically concerned about the numbers used to justify opposition, calling the estimated $7 million financial hit to the longline tuna fishing industry misleading at best. “It’s just a false logic to suggest that a mobile fishery resource has to be fished in this particular location,” said David Henkin, staff attorney for Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law organization. “You’re talking about catching fish,” Henkin said. “You’re not cutting down trees. You’re not mining for gold.” Representatives of the longline fishing industry say it’s not so much about how much money from ahi they would potentially lose if the monument is expanded as it is about the government further limiting the places they can fish. “The fact of the matter is that we continue to be squeezed out of traditional areas,” said Sean Martin, president of the Hawaii Longline Association. Read the story here 08:04