Hawaiian Fishery Managers Seek to Gut Pacific Marine Monuments

United States marine monuments are at risk, and here's why.

Many eyes have been on western public lands this month as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and President Donald Trump announced plans to scale back national monuments, most notably in Utah.

But outside the spotlight of Utah’s Bear’s Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante monuments, another move is underway to curb ocean protections on both coasts. In a report to the White House earlier this month, Zinke recommended that Trump reduce boundaries or alter rules governing marine monuments in the waters off New England and Hawaii.

Zinke focused specifically on the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monuments, a vast collection of underwater canyons and mountains 130 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, which is home to sea turtles, several species of whales, and deep-sea corals; Hawaii’s 13,000-square-mile Rose Atoll marine monument; and the 490,000-square-mile Pacific Remote Islands marine monument, which connects a string of islands and atolls in the central Pacific off Hawaii.

Zinke’s report did not target Papahānaumokuākea, the monument that protects the ocean around the northwestern Hawaiian Islands out to the 200-mile limit of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Photo: Braden Jarvis/Unsplash

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wow this is amazing