The establishment of a restricted area designated for military firing tests on Guam officially takes effect today, resulting in a ban on fishing and other public activities in the waters adjacent to Finegayan, the site of the Navy’s small arms range.
The Department of Agriculture’s Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources Fisheries issued a statement, advising fishermen against entering the area marked by the Army Corps of Engineers as "danger zone."
The danger zone is located entirely within the Pacific Ocean, comprising 892 acres and extending 2.36 miles into the ocean from the high tide line.
"To ensure public safety, vessels are prohibited from lingering in the danger zone when small arms range is in active use," the fisheries office said.
In the final rule posted in the Federal Register last month, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stated, “The danger zone is needed for the Department of Defense to meet its mission…, which is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready military forces, deterring aggression, and maintaining freedom of the seas."
“Due to the strategic location of Guam and the Department of Defense's ongoing reassessment of the Western Pacific military alignment, there has been an increase in the importance of the (Finegayan Small Arms Range) as a training and testing venue. The danger zone is necessary to protect the public from hazards associated with small arms training."
The Finegayan firing range is located at the Naval Base Guam telecommunication site on the northwestern coast of Guam.
The proposal for expansion of the firing exercise site was originally published in the Federal Register on Dec. 13, 2018, drawing a total of 45 comments, including requests for a public hearing which was declined by USACE.