Thank you for taking the time to read all of my letters this week. And thank you for all your comments, both online and in person. I hope I have made a strong argument that the best use of our far northern resources is conservation, as our founding fathers laid out in our Constitution. I don’t want to see our waters opened up to industrial fishing. Do you?
I end this series of letters by asking the readers of this paper whether or not they think we should protect the ocean? Do you? Should we protect the ocean, or should we not protect our ocean?
I think the best use of our natural resources is for our local people, and I hope that we never open up our waters to foreign fishermen. Those fish are important to our people and our culture, and we need them for ourselves.
I also recognize that we live under a system defined by the U.S. Constitution and the Covenant. Our islands are surrounded by ocean, and some of that ocean is managed by our local government, while most of it is managed by the federal government.
Which brings us back to the original question: Do you want to protect the ocean? If the answer is yes, we need to do so under the system in which we are governed today.
Just because you think the local government should control 200 miles of ocean does not mean that it does. So if you think the ocean currently under federal management should be protected, we need to figure out how to protect it under the federal system.
This is an ongoing conversation for our people and I look forward to continuing it for the benefit of our kids and grandkids.
Ignacio V. Cabrera
I Agag, Saipan