NOAA hosts hearing on proposed designation of Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Sanctuary
The Public Scoping Meeting for Proposed Designation of Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Sanctuary is undergoing at the time of our news bulletin.
The prospect of expanding a marine sanctuary has alarmed governors of the CNMI, Guam and American Samoa.
In their joint letter to President Joseph Biden sent two months ago, the three governors expressed concerns over the prospect of expanding potential fishery closures through designating a marine sanctuary within the full U.S. economic exclusive zones of the Pacific Remote Island Areas which already include a Marine National Monument.
According to their letter, the closures of waters around the U.S. Pacific islands would be devastating to the local tuna economy of American Samoa and deprive the Pacific territories of economic development opportunities into the future.
For American Samoa, fisheries are the leading source of economic development.
Their letter to Biden said further closures would be in direct conflict with the Biden administration's Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and run counter to the principles of equity and environmental justice.
The meeting this evening is open to the public and it started at 4 pm. Starkist staff are also attending the meeting.