Nationalgeographic.com is reporting that the US will extend the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to 200 nautical miles off shore, from almost 87,000 square miles (225,000 square kilometers) to nearly 782,000 square miles (2 million square kilometers). This includes the waters off Howland Island, Baker Island, Jarvis Island, Palmyra Atoll, and Kingman Reef, Wake and Johnston Atolls. These are waters that don’t see a cutter very often, and it is almost one seventh of the entire US EEZ.
In addition the White House announced a commitment to combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing.
Doesn’t this look like justification for more Cutters?
Declaring a reserve without enforcement is useless. To me this sounds like ample justification for another cutter to be based in Hawaii. The OPCs are not ready so that means a Bertholf Class. The Coast Guard has been saying they really need nine NSCs Since the workload is increasing, increasing assets is only logical. Long lead items for the eighth and final NSC were included in the FY2014 budget and full funding is expected in FY2015. I’m am sure Huntington Ingalls and their Congressional delegation would be happy to see the series extended by another unit.