13 Jan 2012

American Samoa Governor confident in sanctuary expansion

4:47 pm on 13 January 2012

The American Samoa Governor Togiola Tulafono says he is confident the territory will benefit from a plan to extend a local marine sanctuary.

The federal government is hoping to expand the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary around the islands of Tutuila, Manu'a and Swains Island.

The proposal is being heavily opposed by commercial and recreational fishermen and leaders of villages near the sites.

Governor Togiola told attendees at a town hall meeting that a passage of the plan will enhance marine conservation efforts.

"I have all the confidence as the administrator of our territory that I can only look forward to more benefits flowing to American Samoa of a national marine sanctuary programme."

Governor Togiola Tulafono says the Fagatele draft management plan has not been done overnight, but is based on research and consultation with residents.