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Boost for fishing in world’s largest marine protected area

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US President Barak Obama has created the world’s largest marine protected area, where recreational fishing will be allowed.
↑ Recreational fishing has been given the go ahead in the newly extended Northwest Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. Picture: NOAA.

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) has welcomed President Barack Obama’s decision to allow recreational fishing on the newly created largest protected marine area in the world.

The US President has announced a vast expansion of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument – known as Papahanaumokuakea – out to 200 miles. The order will see all commercial fishing, oil exploration and mineral extraction banned from the area. In 2006, President George W. Bush created the monument which extended to 50 miles and excluded angling.

However, following the latest decree, recreational fishing will be allowed in the area, a decision applauded by the ASA’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Scott Gudes “We are pleased that the administration recognises the conservation contributions of sport fishing,” he said.

“The uses allowed to continue, such as angling and boating, show a true appreciation of the value of outdoor recreation for our nation’s citizens. Outdoor recreation is about appreciating nature and the outdoors as much as its is about jobs and the economy.”

“This designation is an important example of how resource conservation and recreational activities, such as sport fishing and boating, can go hand-in-hand,” said Nicole Vasilaros, Vice President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). “We applaud the Obama administration and Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) for their efforts and continued recognition of the important role of the recreational economy.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and US Department of the Interior will be responsible for managing the area and have been given three years to put forward implementing regulations.

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