Scott and the Pew Hawai`i Team worked successfully to expose the corruption in the Hawai`i-based Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (WESPAC), the largest of the eight such councils. Created by the 1976 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, WESPAC’s territory includes Hawai`i, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands and has authority over the fisheries in the Pacific Ocean seaward of such states and of the commonwealth, territories and possessions of the United States in the Pacific Ocean.
As Scott put it, “WESPAC was and unfortunately still is closely controlled by a board of rapacious commercial fishing industry insiders. Over time, the commercial fish population were being rapidly exhausted. Just imagine the money involved! While we were finally able to get a congressional investigation into WEAPAC, thanks to the fishing industry payoffs in Congress, WESPAC came away with a slap on the wrist and they continue to enable overfishing. Regulation means nothing without actual oversight and Congress refuses to adequately fund the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which is responsible for enforcement of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.”
The Hawai`i Pew Team was also responsible for seeing the Hawai`i State law against shark finning enacted. Scott notes, “While we were able to get the law passed, it too is difficult to enforce when international commercial fishing boats, mainly Chinese, are involved.”
In 2010, Scott again worked with Pew to create the first national Blue Oceans Day. The following photo is of the children of Halau Lokahi, a Hawaiian charter school, at the Hawai`i State Capitol. This photo was framed and sent to then President Barack Obama at the White House.