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How Wespac Is Twisting Words To Allow More Fishing

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is crafting new definitions that could allow more fishing in restricted waters around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and American Samoa.

The Honolulu-based council, known as Wespac, and its scientific advisory committee must decide what “non-commercial fishing” should include in the expanded portion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and what “cultural fishing” should mean in American Samoa.

Environmental groups, the territorial government of American Samoa and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs have raised concerns over any changes that would enable commercial fishing in places that were set up to be off-limits to longline tuna fleets and others.

But the council has…

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