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Photo: Wayne Levin
Photo: Wayne Levin
Photo: Lisianski

The Honorable Barack Obama
President, United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. President,

We write as representatives of the small boat fishing community in strong support of expanding Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to the full 200 nautical mile boundary, with an exception for the waters around Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau, including two weather buoys used by local, small-boat fishermen.

It is our firm conviction that this expanded refuge will prove to be beneficial to thesmall boat, sport, and charter fishermen of Hawai‘i.

The small-scale fishermen of Hawai‘i feed us, delivering a truly fresh product to our local markets and our back doors, on a daily basis, ocean-to- table. We are strong members of our community, putting fish on the table for luau, birthdays, graduations, and other important celebrations for our ohana across the Islands. The Hawai‘i longline fleet, which will argue loudest against the proposed expansion interferes with the local market economy, delivers a less-than- fresh product, and pillages the stocks that supported a much more robust small boat fishery, prior to their arrival in the mid-to- late 80s. The science is clear that tuna and many other pelagic species are threatened or seriously over-fished across the Pacific. As fishermen we know this well because we are spending more time on the water than we once did to catch fish for our communities.

This is why we so strongly support expanding the monument. By protecting our biological resources, we protect our fishing culture at the same time. There is no more appropriate place than Papahānaumokuākea, where Native Hawaiians believe life began, to begin the rebuilding of our marine environment.

Thank you for considering this critical conservation and cultural issue.


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Mahalo to the following fishers who support expansion!

Antonio Puerto Honolulu
Norberto Lima Miami
Abe Fisher South Jamesport
Landon Mukaigawa Honolulu
Bobby Walker Debary
Shakayla Thomas Compton
Robert J. Conlan Wahiawa