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Pacific Voices

“Now is the time to preserve these islands for our future, and to honor the sacrifices of Native Hawaiians in the past. We are encouraged to see the outpouring of support from so many Pacific Island descendents who answered the call to protect this special region. We know that this wahi pana cannot be protected without their voices and are hopeful that their comments will allow us to protect the PRI for generations to come.”

—William Aila Jr., PRI Coalition member and Hawaiian fisherman.

“We are looking at a cultural opportunity here that has not yet existed. That is to bring in all of the surrounding people of the Pacific to talk about their voyaging traditions, their wayfaring traditions, their use of these islands. And I think the end result of that is going to be a closer affiliation of all of the people of the Pacific based on their voyaging history.”

—Rick Gaffney, PRI Coalition member, Former WESPAC council member, President of the Hawai’i Fishing and Boating Association

“Expanding protections will safeguard areas of open ocean ecosystems that are intricately connected to nearshore coral reefs, and would protect habitats for endangered and threatened species, such as sharks and birds, who travel far beyond the current boundaries to breed, forage, and rest.”

Marine biologist and co-author of the scientific and cultural case statement for the expansion of the PRI Marine National Monument.

“The Pacific Remote Islands hold precious connections to our past and promise for our future as Pacific peoples. In the same way these waters are at the nexus of cross-cultural voyaging pathways across Polynesia, they likewise are an intersection of climate change mitigation, cultural practice and scientific discovery. We must protect these waters.”


Sol Kaho‘ohalahala
Native Hawaiian Elder, Kupa ʻĀina ʻo Lānaʻi and member of the PRI Coalition

Frequently Asked Questions Video Playlist

PRI Coalition Member Interviews Video Playlist

Members of the public voice support for the possible designation of PRI as a National Marine Sanctuary

Public comments are being accepted in May 2023 by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) as it considers whether to designate a national marine sanctuary for the Pacific Remote Islands. More information at
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