|Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument|
August 2016 boundary and location
|Location||Honolulu County, Hawaii / Midway Atoll, United States Minor Outlying Islands|
|Nearest city||Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.|
|Area||583,000 square miles (1,510,000 km2)|
|Established||June 15, 2006|
|Governing body||National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Fish and Wildlife Service, Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources|
|Website||Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument|
|Criteria||iii, vi, viii, ix, x|
|Designated||2010 (34th session)|
|Region||Europe and North America|
The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (roughly // ) is a World Heritage listed U.S. National Monument encompassing 583,000 square miles (1,510,000 km2) of ocean waters, including ten islands and atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Created in June 2006 with 140,000 square miles (360,000 km2), it was expanded in August 2016 by moving its border to the limit of the exclusive economic zone, making it one of the world's largest protected areas. It is internationally known for its cultural and natural values as follows:
The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands or the Leeward Islands are the small islands and atolls in the Hawaiian island chain located northwest of the islands of Kauai and Niihau. Politically, they are all part of Honolulu County in the U.S. state of Hawaii, except Midway Atoll, which is a territory distinct from Hawaii and grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands. The United States Census Bureau defines this area, except Midway, as Census Tract 114.98 of Honolulu County. Its total land area is 3.1075 square miles (8.048 km2). All the islands except Nihoa are north of the Tropic of Cancer, making them the only islands in Hawaii that lie outside the tropics.
An exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is a sea zone prescribed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea over which a state has special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from water and wind. It stretches from the baseline out to 200 nautical miles (nmi) from its coast. In colloquial usage, the term may include the continental shelf. The term does not include either the territorial sea or the continental shelf beyond the 200 nmi limit. The difference between the territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone is that the first confers full sovereignty over the waters, whereas the second is merely a "sovereign right" which refers to the coastal state's rights below the surface of the sea. The surface waters, as can be seen in the map, are international waters.
"The area has deep cosmological and traditional significance for living Native Hawaiian culture, as an ancestral environment, as an embodiment of the Hawaiian concept of kinship between people and the natural world, and as the place where it is believed that life originates and to where the spirits return after death. On two of the islands, Nihoa and Makumanamana, there are archaeological remains relating to pre-European settlement and use. Much of the monument is made up of pelagic and deepwater habitats, with notable features such as seamounts and submerged banks, extensive coral reefs and lagoons."
Native Hawaiians are the Aboriginal Polynesian people of the Hawaiian Islands or their descendants. Native Hawaiians trace their ancestry back to the original Polynesian settlers of Hawaiʻi. In total, 527,000 Americans consider themselves Native Hawaiian.
Hawaiian kinship, also referred to as the generational system, is a kinship system used to define family. Identified by Lewis H. Morgan in his 1871 work Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family, the Hawaiian system is one of the six major kinship systems.
The pelagic zone consists of the water column of the open ocean, and can be further divided into regions by depth. The word "pelagic" is derived from Ancient Greek πέλαγος (pélagos), meaning 'open sea'. The pelagic zone can be thought of in terms of an imaginary cylinder or water column that goes from the surface of the sea almost to the bottom. Conditions differ deeper in the water column such that as pressure increases with depth, the temperature drops and less light penetrates. Depending on the depth, the water column, rather like the Earth's atmosphere, may be divided into different layers.
The monument supports 7,000 species, one quarter of which are endemic. Prominent species include the endangered hawksbill sea turtle, the threatened green sea turtle and the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, the Laysan and Nihoa finches, the Nihoa millerbird, Laysan duck, seabirds such as the Laysan albatross, numerous species of plants including Pritchardia palms, and many species of arthropods. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, populations of lobster have not recovered from extensive harvesting in the 1980s and 1990s, which is now banned;the remaining fisheries are overfished.
The hawksbill sea turtle is a Critically Endangered sea turtle belonging to the family Cheloniidae. It is the only extant species in the genus Eretmochelys. The species has a worldwide distribution, with Atlantic and Indo-Pacific subspecies—E. i. imbricata and E. i. bissa, respectively.
The green sea turtle, also known as the green turtle, black (sea) turtle or Pacific green turtle, is a species of large sea turtle of the family Cheloniidae. It is the only species in the genus Chelonia. Its range extends throughout tropical and subtropical seas around the world, with two distinct populations in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, but it is also found in the Indian Ocean. The common name refers to the usually green fat found beneath its carapace, not to the color of its carapace, which is olive to black.
The Hawaiian monk seal, Neomonachus schauinslandi, is an endangered species of earless seal in the family Phocidae that is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) reports that many species populations have not yet fully recovered from a large-scale shift in the oceanic ecosystem that affected the North Pacific during the late 1980s and early 1990s.This shift reduced populations of important species such as spiny lobster, seabirds and Hawaiian monk seals. Commercial fishing ended in 2011. The monument receives strict conservation protection, with exceptions for traditional Native Hawaiian uses and limited tourism.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is the United States federal agency responsible for the stewardship of national marine resources. The agency conserves and manages fisheries to promote sustainability and prevent lost economic potential associated with overfishing, declining species, and degraded habitats.
Spiny lobsters, also known as langustas, langouste, or rock lobsters, are a family (Palinuridae) of about 60 species of achelate crustaceans, in the Decapoda Reptantia. Spiny lobsters are also, especially in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, and the Bahamas, called crayfish, sea crayfish, or crawfish, terms which elsewhere are reserved for freshwater crayfish.
Commercial fishing is the activity of catching fish and other seafood for commercial profit, mostly from wild fisheries. It provides a large quantity of food to many countries around the earth, but those who practice it as an industry must often pursue fish far into the ocean under adverse conditions. Large-scale commercial fishing is also known as industrial fishing. This profession has gained in popularity with the development of shows such as Deadliest Catch, Swords, and Wicked Tuna. The major fishing industries are not only owned by major corporations but by small families as well. The industry has had to adapt through the years in order to keep earning a profit. A study taken on some small family-owned commercial fishing companies showed that they adapted to continue to earn a living but not necessarily make a large profit. It is the adaptability of the fishermen and their methods that cause some concern for fishery managers and researchers; they say that for those reasons, the sustainability of the marine ecosystems could be in danger of being ruined.
The monument covers roughly 583,000 square miles (1,510,000 km2) of reefs, atolls and shallow and deep sea (out to 200 miles (320 km) offshore) in the Pacific Ocean –larger than all of America's National Parks combined. It contains approximately 10 percent of the tropical shallow water coral reef habitat (i.e., 0 to 100 fathoms) in U.S. territory. It is slightly larger than Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, approximately the size of the country of Germany, and just slightly smaller than Montana.[ citation needed ]
The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.
A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of colonies of coral polyps held together by calcium carbonate. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, whose polyps cluster in groups.
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
The islands included in the monument are all part of the State of Hawaii, except Midway Atoll, which is part of The United States Minor Outlying Islands insular area. Henderson Field, on Midway Atoll, provides aerial access to the monument.
The United States Minor Outlying Islands are a statistical designation defined by the International Organization for Standardization's ISO 3166-1 code. The entry code is ISO 3166-2:UM. The minor outlying islands and groups of islands consist of eight United States insular areas in the Pacific Ocean and one in the Caribbean Sea.
Henderson Field is a public airport located on Sand Island in Midway Atoll, an unincorporated territory of the United States. The airport is used as an emergency diversion point for ETOPS operations.
The monument's ocean area is administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It also contains within it a number of U.S. and Hawaiian designated refuges, sanctuaries, reserves and memorials with their own specialized administration.
The Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, with an area of 254,418.1 acres (397.53 sq mi; 1,029.6 km2) is in the monument and is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
About 132,000 square miles (340,000 km2) of the monument were already part of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve, which was designated in 2000. The monument also includes the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (590,991.50 acres (2,391.7 km2)) and Battle of Midway National Memorial, the Hawaii State Seabird Sanctuary at Kure Atoll, and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands State Marine Refuge.
The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) were first protected on February 3, 1909, when U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt created the Hawaiian Islands Bird Reservation through Executive Order 1019, as a response to the over-harvesting of seabirds, and in recognition of the importance of the NWHI as seabird nesting sites.President Franklin D. Roosevelt converted it into the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge in 1940. A series of incremental protections followed, leading to the establishment of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in 1988, Kure Atoll State Wildlife Sanctuary in 1993, and the NWHI Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve in 2000.
President Bill Clinton established the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve on December 4, 2000, with Executive Order 13178. Clinton's executive order initiated a process to designate the waters of the NWHI as a National Marine Sanctuary. A public comment period began in 2002. In 2005, Governor of Hawaii Linda Lingle declared parts of the monument a state marine refuge.
In April 2006, President George W. Bush and his wife viewed a screening of the documentary film Voyage to Kure at the White House along with its director, Jean-Michel Cousteau. Compelled by the film's portrayal of the flora and fauna, Bush moved quickly to protect the area.
On June 15, 2006, Bush signed Proclamation 8031, designating the waters of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands a national monument under the 1906 Antiquities Act. Using the Antiquities Act bypassed the normal year of consultations and halted the public input process and came just before the draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Marine Sanctuary was to be published. This was the second use by Bush of the Antiquities Act, following the declaration of the African Burial Ground National Monument on Manhattan in February 2006.The legislated process for stakeholder involvement in the planning and management of a marine protected area had already taken five years of effort, but the abrupt establishment of the NWHI as a National Monument, rather than a Sanctuary, provided immediate and more resilient protection. The protection is revocable only by legislation.
Joshua Reichertproclaimed the importance of the timely designation, saying:
Monument status is quicker; it's more comprehensive; and it's more permanent. Only an act of Congress can undo a monument designation. The sanctuary process, it takes longer; it involves more congressional input, more public debate, more hearings and meetings. And he [George W. Bush] obviously made a decision today to, actually, take a bold step and create something which is going to be immediate, that the law applies immediately to this place now.
The NWHI accounted for approximately half of the locally landed bottomfish in Hawaii. 60 feet (18 m) in length. Frank McCoy, then chair of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, claimed:These fish are valued by local chefs and consumers. The NWHI bottomfish fishery was a limited entry fishery, with eight vessels, which were restricted to
We are pleased the President recognizes the near pristine condition of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands waters. We believe the abundance and biodiversity of the area attests to the successful management of the NWHI fisheries by the Council the past 30 years and indicates that properly regulated fisheries can operate in the NWHI without impacting the ecosystem. The small NWHI bottomfish fishery has not and would not jeopardize the protection of the NWHI that President Bush is pursuing by designating the area a national monument.
The National Marine Fisheries Service published reports attesting to the health of the NWHI bottomfish stocks.Commercial bottomfish and pelagic fishing as well as recreational catch-and-keep and catch-and-release fishing were also deemed by some to be compatible to the goals and objectives of the proposed NWHI National Marine Sanctuary.
On February 27, 2007, President Bush amended Proclamation 8031, naming the monument "Papahānaumokuākea",inspired by the names of the Hawaiian creator goddess Papahānaumoku and her husband Wakea. On March 1, first lady Laura Bush visited Midway Atoll, and on March 2, a renaming ceremony was held at Washington Place in Honolulu, Hawaii. At the ceremony, Laura Bush and Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced the name change and helped raise public awareness about the monument. On May 15, 2007, President Bush announced his intention to submit the monument for Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) status, which would "alert mariners to exercise caution in the ecologically important, sensitive, and hazardous area they are entering." In October 2007, the Marine Environmental Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization designated the monument as a PSSA.
In August 2016, President Barack Obama expanded the area of the monument by roughly four times. The expanded monument was at that time the world's largest marine protected area.
On January 30, 2008, the U.S. Department of Interior added the monument to a tentative list of 14 proposed sites for consideration on the UNESCO World Heritage List.The Federal Interagency Panel for World Heritage officially accepted the recommendation in November 2008. As a mixed site with natural and cultural resources, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) commented on the natural features of the monument, and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) assessed its cultural aspects.
The national monument was inscribed on the World Heritage List in July 2010 as "Papahānaumokuākea".at the 34th Session of the World Heritage Committee in Brasilia.
Federal researchers continue to study the monument's marine resources. A 2010 expedition reached the Kure atoll and its divers reached 250 feet (76 m) revealing new species of coral and other animals. Waikiki Aquarium is culturing the new corals.
On August 3, 2015, divers found the wreck of the USNS Mission San Miguel (T-AO-129) within the monument. She had sunk there on October 8, 1957 when she ran aground on Maro Reef while running at full speed and in ballast. Researchers will map and study the wreck in situ.
Kingman Reef is a largely submerged, uninhabited triangular-shaped reef, 9.5 nautical miles east-west and 5 nmi (9 km) north-south, located in the North Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway between the Hawaiian Islands and American Samoa at. It is the northernmost of the Northern Line Islands and lies 36 nautical miles (67 km) northwest of the next closest island, and 930 nautical miles (1,720 km) south of Honolulu.
Midway Atoll is a 2.4-square-mile (6.2 km2) atoll in the North Pacific Ocean at. Midway is roughly equidistant between North America and Asia. Midway Atoll is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States. Midway continues to be the only island in the Hawaiian archipelago that is not part of the state of Hawaii. Unlike the other Hawaiian islands, Midway observes Samoa Time, which is one hour behind the time in the state of Hawaii. For statistical purposes, Midway is grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands. The Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, encompassing 590,991.50 acres (239,165.77 ha) of land and water in the surrounding area, is administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The refuge and most of its surrounding area are part of the larger Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
Kure Atoll or Ocean Island is an atoll in the Pacific Ocean 48 nautical miles beyond Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands at. The only land of significant size is called Green Island and is a habitat for hundreds of thousands of seabirds. A short, unused and unmaintained runway and a portion of one building, both from a former United States Coast Guard LORAN station, are located on the island. Politically it is part of Hawaii, although separated from the rest of the state by Midway, which is a separate unorganized territory. Green Island, in addition to being the nesting grounds of tens of thousands of seabirds, has recorded several vagrant terrestrial birds including snow bunting, eyebrowed thrush, brambling, olive-backed pipit, black kite, Steller's sea eagle and Chinese sparrowhawk.
Nihoa, also known as Bird Island or Moku Manu, is the tallest of ten islands and atolls in the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). The island is located at the southern end of the NWHI chain, 296 km (160 nmi) southeast of Necker Island. Nihoa is the closest NWHI in proximity to the eight main windward Hawaiian Islands at approximately 240 km (130 nmi) northwest of the island of Kauaʻi. The island has two peaks, 272 m (892 ft) Miller's Peak in the west, and 259 m (850 ft) Tanager Peak in the east. Nihoa's area is about 171 acres (0.69 km2) and is surrounded by a 142,000-acre (57,000 ha) coral reef. Its jagged outline gives the island its name, Nihoa, which means "tooth" in the Hawaiian language.
The French Frigate Shoals is the largest atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Its name commemorates French explorer Jean-François de La Pérouse, who nearly lost two frigates when attempting to navigate the shoals. It consists of a 20-mile (32 km) long crescent-shaped reef, twelve sandbars, and the 120-foot (37 m) high La Perouse Pinnacle, the only remnant of its volcanic origins. The total land area of the islets is 61.508 acres (24.891 ha). Total coral reef area of the shoals is over 232,000 acres (94,000 ha). Tern Island, with an area of 26.014 acres (10.527 ha), has a landing strip and permanent habitations for a small number of people. It is maintained as a field station in the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The French Frigate Shoals are about 487 nautical miles northwest of Honolulu.
Maro Reef is a largely submerged coral atoll located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It was discovered in 1820 by Captain Joseph Allen of the ship Maro, after whose ship the reef was named. With a total area of 747 square miles (1,935 km2), it is the largest coral reef in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It contains 37 species of stony coral. Unlike most atolls, the coral extends out from the center like spokes on a wheel. Located about 850 miles northwest of Honolulu, Hawaii, Maro Reef contains about 1 acre (4,000 m2) of dry land which itself can be submerged depending on the tides. Some scientists believe that it "may be on the verge of drowning" because the reefs are detached and are vulnerable to strong storm waves.
The Pearl and Hermes Atoll is part of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, a group of small islands and atolls that form the farthest northwest portion of the Hawaiian island chain. The atoll consists of a variable number of flat and sandy islets, typically between five and seven. More were noted in historical sources but have since been lost to erosion and rising sea levels.
A U.S. National Marine Sanctuary is a zone within United States waters, where the marine environment enjoys special protection. The program began in 1972 in response to public concern about the plight of marine ecosystems.
Marine protected areas (MPA) are protected areas of seas, oceans, estuaries or large lakes. These marine areas can come in many forms ranging from wildlife refuges to research facilities. MPAs restrict human activity for a conservation purpose, typically to protect natural or cultural resources. Such marine resources are protected by local, state, territorial, native, regional, national, or international authorities and differ substantially among and between nations. This variation includes different limitations on development, fishing practices, fishing seasons and catch limits, moorings and bans on removing or disrupting marine life. In some situations, MPAs also provide revenue for countries, potentially equal to the income that they would have if they were to grant companies permissions to fish.
Rose Atoll Marine National Monument is a United States National Monument in the South Pacific Ocean, covering 8,571,633 acres and encompassing the Rose Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, which was established in 1973 with 39,066 acres. The monument's marine areas are likely to also be incorporated in the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument is a group of unorganized, mostly unincorporated United States Pacific Island territories managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States Department of Commerce. These remote refuges are "the most widespread collection of marine- and terrestrial-life protected areas on the planet under a single country's jurisdiction". They protect many endemic species including corals, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, seabirds, water birds, land birds, insects, and vegetation not found elsewhere.
USNS Vindicator (T-AGOS-3) was a United States Navy Stalwart-class modified tactical auxiliary general ocean surveillance ship that was in service from 1984 to 1993. Vindicator then served in the United States Coast Guard from 1994 to 2001 as the medium endurance cutter USCGC Vindicator (WMEC-3). Since 2004, she has been in commission in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fleet as the oceanographic research ship NOAAS Hi'ialakai.
Montipora dilatata, commonly known as the Hawaiian reef coral, is a species of coral in the family Acroporidae.
The Hawai`i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) is a marine biology laboratory located on the state-owned Coconut Island in Kāne'ohe Bay.
The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is one of the world's most important whale habitats, hosting thousands of humpbacks each winter.
Howland and Baker islands are two uninhabited U.S. atolls in the Equatorial Pacific that are located close to one another. Both islands are wildlife refuges, the larger of which is Howland Island. The pair of islands may also be referred to as Baker and Howland Islands. They are both part of the larger political territory of the United States Minor Outlying Islands and they are also both part of the larger geographic grouping of the Phoenix Islands. Each is a National Wildlife Refuge managed by a division of Interior, the Fish and Wildlife Service. On January 6, 2009, President George Bush, in creating the monument, added both islands to the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.
Half Moon Caye is an island and natural monument of Belize located at the southeast corner of Lighthouse Reef Atoll. This natural monument was the first nature reserve to have been established in Belize under the National Park Systems Act in 1981 and first marine protected area in Central America. This is also Belize's oldest site of wildlife protection since it was first designated as a bird sanctuary in 1924 to protect the habitat of the red-footed booby birds.
The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (WPRFMC) is one of eight regional councils established under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) in 1976 to manage offshore fisheries. The WPRFMC’s jurisdiction includes the US exclusive economic zone (EEZ) waters around the State of Hawaii; US Territories of American Samoa and Guam; the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI); and the US Pacific remote island areas of Johnston, Midway, Palmyra and Wake Atolls; Baker, Howland and Jarvis Islands; and Kingman Reef. This area of nearly 1.5 million square miles is the size of the continental United States and constitutes about half of the entire US EEZ. It spans both sides of the equator and both sides of the dateline. The WPRFMC also manages domestic fisheries based in the US Pacific Islands that operate on the high seas.
All commercial fishing eliminated in 2010
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