30 Jan 2017

Sanctuary program can't dictate use of local waters - Moliga

2:23 pm on 30 January 2017

American Samoa Governor Lolo Moliga has told the US Sanctuary Program that their local office cannot dictate how the territorial government uses local waters.

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Photo: RNZI / Monica Miller

The governor said he met with officials of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and explained to them the position of the legislature and the executive branch concerning federal oversight of areas included in the Sanctuary of American samoa.

He said it's not that American Samoa is against conservation, rather it's the way that the federal government has taken over jurisdiction of local waters included in the sanctuary that he has a problem with.

Waters included in the marine Sanctuary of American Samoa are not open for commercial fishing, and there are also restrictions on take for subsistence fishing.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting the governor also said that the Attorney General will fight American Samoa's lawsuit against the US government to take back control of local waters.