A team from the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service is in American Samoa to discuss with residents a petition seeking to list 82 coral species as endangered.
The petition is from the Centre for Biological Diversity, a non-profit conservation organization based in Tuscon, Arizona.
About 55 of the coral species being proposed for protection under the Endangered Species Act occur in American Samoa and other parts of the Pacific.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's regional administrator, Lisa Ku'ulei Croft, says this is the biggest proposal ever presented to the National Marine Fisheries Service.
"These species occur not just in American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianas and Hawaii, they are all over the Pacific, so outside of US jurisdiction as well, most of them."
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Lisa Ku'ulei Croft.