‘We’re at a crossroads’: who do the fish of Hawaii belong to?

Commercial fishers see the water as ‘an open ocean’ – but depleting resources creates food insecurity for low-income and Native Hawaiians who depend on it

This spring, longline commercial fishers petitioned the Trump administration to open up the Pacific marine monuments – some of the most biologically diverse marine conservation areas in the world, including Papahānaumokuākea. A World Heritage site, Hawaii’s Papahānaumokuākea constitutes 583,000 acres of protected waters, which host critically endangered species and important coral reef ecosystems.

These commercial fishers argued that “quick action is urgently needed” to meet “exceptionally high retail demand” for canned tuna as a result of the current pandemic – assertions which have been rebuked by many reports.

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