Scientists oppose changes to fishing ban around Pacific islands


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Link here. The article, from the journal Science, is devoted entirely to pushing the perspective of the scientists, who do not want the size of the fishing ban around eight Pacific islands reduced in any way. They claim that it will be a disaster for science if any commercial fishing from Hawaiian fisherman is allowed within 200 miles of these islands.

Marine scientists are warning that if the Trump administration rescinds fishing protections around eight Pacific islands, the United States will lose one of its best laboratories for measuring how a warming climate affects marine life. “We need baselines,” says Alan Friedlander of the University of Hawaii at Mānoa in Honolulu. “We need pristine reefs to see what we’ve lost elsewhere, to better manage damaged reefs and to isolate the effects of climate change.”

To understand that this is really only a power play by these scientists is revealed by the following quote from the article:

In 2009, President George W. Bush designated the islands, lying south of the Hawaiian chain, as national monuments. All but Wake, which hosts a military base, were already National Wildlife Refuges before attaining that status. As refuges, commercial fishing is banned within 12 nautical miles, which preserved the health of the reefs even in the face of rising temperatures. In the rest of the islands’ Exclusive Economic Zone—waters out to 200 miles from shore—they were fished by long-line tuna boats from Hawaii.

Bush’s designation banned fishing within 50 nautical miles of shore; in 2014, President Barack Obama extended the ban to 200 miles for Wake, Johnston, and Jarvis. President Donald Trump is expected to try to change the rules by executive order or by a new Antiquities Act proclamation. Any such move will be challenged in court, says Michael Gravitz, director of policy and legislation at the nonprofit Marine Conservation Institute in Washington, D.C.

The real issue here is the expansion of the ban by Bush and Obama. It probably impacted the livelihood’s of Hawaiian fishermen, and this change being considered by the Trump administration is part of its overall effort to reconsider certain past presidential designations of national monuments that appear to have exceeded the intention of the law. The original intention was that any presidential declaration of a monument would be kept to “the smallest area compatible with proper care and management.” In recent decades presidents from both parties have made designations that far exceed this limitation.

Many scientists today however have become nothing more than petty dictators. They demand that everyone kowtow to them, even if that results in the loss of their jobs or property. This article illustrates this.

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3 comments

  • pzatchok

    I tend to have a different view on things like this.

    The US NEEDS to protect its fisheries from Chines and other unregulated nations.

    If the only way to get more Coast Guard ships patrolling those areas is to declare them national preserves well then……

    I do think that funding the Coast Guard would do a better job than just closing them off to everyone.

  • Edward

    pzatchok wrote: “The US NEEDS to protect its fisheries from Chines and other unregulated nations. If the only way to get more Coast Guard ships patrolling those areas is to declare them national preserves well then……

    If we are not fishing them, then they are not US fisheries. Thus they do not need “protection,” but they could be sources of revenue by renting or leasing them to other countries that could use the fish.

  • Edward: The article I linked to indicated pretty clearly to me that these islands were used in the past by Hawaiian fishermen, who I suspect want that access again.

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