Proposal would expand marine conservation area held sacred

Proposal would expand marine conservation area held sacred

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz is proposing to expand one of the world's largest marine conservation areas in a way that preserves some fishing grounds for local fishermen.

The proposal submitted to President Barack Obama Thursday would make the monument near Hawaii the largest protected marine area in the world.

The proposal reflects a smaller protected area than what was originally sought by Native Hawaiians, who consider the area sacred.

Even so, Hawaii Longline Association President Sean Martin says important fishing grounds would still be lost. He says longline fishermen have been operating in the area for decades and the area is pristine.

A group pushing for expansion also wants to protect the area from deep sea mining for minerals used to make cellphones.

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