Senators fielded support, skepticism and opposition from residents during a public hearing Wednesday regarding a bill that would ban scuba fishing. The bill, introduced by Sen. Sabina Perez and co-sponsored by Sen. Clynt Ridgell and Speaker Tina Muña Barnes, seeks to prohibit the use of scuba gear while fishing in the waters around Guam. According to Perez, a similar ban has been enacted in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas and Hawaii.
The use of scuba gear allows fishers to harvest unnatural amounts of fish, depleting Guam’s already threatened resources, Perez said. This, in turn, affects the island’s coral reefs and larger ecosystem. “This relentless practice prevents fish from repopulating,” she said. “The decision we make now will have far-reaching impacts.”
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