Group protests expanded protection of Papahanaumokuakea

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Congress wants to protect Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument even more.

But not everyone’s happy about it.

A group of fishermen, chefs and community leaders held a rally Friday against the proposed expansion, which would make the 200 miles around the Northwestern Hawaiian Island chain off-limits to fishermen.

The group says this would be detrimental to their way of life.

“Our purpose of this today is to send a message to our congregation in Washington and to our island-born president: hands off. Keep hands off. Keep us on the water and let us do what we do best,” said Jim Cook, Pop Fishing and Marine vice president.

In response, the Expand Papahanaumokuakea coalition said expanded protection is good for Hawaii fish stocks and stability of the market.

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