Fishermen seek change in range complex - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Fishermen seek change in range complex

Posted: Updated:

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - The island's fishermen attended a meeting on Tuesday night to express their concerns with the Navy's plans for the Marianas Islands Training and Testing Area and Range Complex. And that community isn't happy about the military's plans to further cut into their livelihoods.

Fishermen like John Eads aren't happy with the military's plans to put a training and testing range complex right in the middle of his favorite fishing spot. "You guys are out of hand," he proclaimed. "You're asking from something that you don't need and you're ruining our livelihood, potentially, if you wish."

Rob Ross added, "Why do you have to choose places like the Southern Banks? You got the entire Pacific Ocean at your disposal to do your testing of all your weapons - why do you have to choose the place where we fish?" He and others attended last night's meeting with the Navy's consultant, HDR Environmental, to discuss their concerns with the military's decision to choose popular fishing areas for training and testing.

HDR Environmental consultant Edward Lynch said, "That 'Whisky' area has been around for quite a long time and the Navy trains within the Marianas Island Range Complex...training is directly related to where our forces are and I'm sure you've heard this more than once that Guam is 'the point of the spear.'"

But it was obvious fishermen weren't taking the bait. Eads stated, "There's no reason for this conflict. I don't care of we're 'the point of the spear' or whatever the hell you said. It's just asking for something because it's always been there it doesn't need to be there." He also noted, "We don't mind if you guys bomb the crap out of Farallon De Medinilla but leave the Southern Banks alone, leave the wedge of the Northern Banks alone, and we don't care if you take the rest."

The range complex, as currently proposed, would close off four shoreline areas and up to 200 miles out into international waters and that's in addition to the 14,000 square miles of the fishing grounds that are already closed off to fishermen. They've asked that officials move the area 30 miles east away from the shallow points where they currently fish.

Colonel Dr. Tom Poole (U.S. Army Ret.) says they understand the military's need to train near Guam, noting. "Most of the water around Guam is essentially unfishable because it's too deep. And I don't know the math on it, but maybe 2% or 3% of the areas around Guam, and that 2% or 3% is what you choose to make a training area."

Lynch said he couldn't make any promises, but would take the fisherman's proposal to move the training and testing area 30 miles east back to the Navy for their consideration. "I can't sit here and tell you there won't be a problem with 30 miles. We're gonna go back and ask that question. We told you we would be absolutely honest with you. I don't' have the answers. I'm here to find out if 30 miles is what you guys want me to ask then that's what we're going to ask can we move it 30 miles," he said.

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Lou and Josh announce transition team

    Lou and Josh announce transition team

    The Leon Guerrero/Tenorio team has announced their transition team. The Governor-elect and Lt. Governor-elect said in a statement Dr. Mary Okada will Act as Chairwoman of the transition team and Dr. Laura Torres Souder will Act as Vice Chair. The Lou and Josh team also announced they will not conduct public meetings, news briefings or media interviews until after the Guam Election Commission certifies General Election results, which is expected to happen on November 23. In t...

    More >>

    The Leon Guerrero/Tenorio team has announced their transition team. The Governor-elect and Lt. Governor-elect said in a statement Dr. Mary Okada will Act as Chairwoman of the transition team and Dr. Laura Torres Souder will Act as Vice Chair. The Lou and Josh team also announced they will not conduct public meetings, news briefings or media interviews until after the Guam

    More >>
  • Health insurance won't be suspended for public sector retirees this month

    Health insurance won't be suspended for public sector retirees this month

    Government retirees will not have their health insurance coverage suspended this month. The Department of Administration says it expects to make good on a $300,000 payment to TakeCare. The company sent out notice that it would have to cut services on NoveMore >>
    Government retirees will not have their health insurance coverage suspended this month. The Department of Administration says it expects to make good on a $300,000 payment to TakeCare. The company sent out notice that it would have to cut services on NoveMore >>
  • Ken Joe Ada speaks out about terrorizing arrest

    Ken Joe Ada speaks out about terrorizing arrest

    Ken Joe Ada, the former mayor of Yona, was charged with terrorizing over the weekend. And he's now speaking out about the incident that led to his arrest. He says he reached out to a local businessman about a commercial that he felt was malicious towards More >>
    Ken Joe Ada, the former mayor of Yona, was charged with terrorizing over the weekend. And he's now speaking out about the incident that led to his arrest. He says he reached out to a local businessman about a commercial that he felt was malicious towards More >>
Powered by Frankly