29 Aug 2007

Moves to protect American Samoa's large reef fish

9:27 am on 29 August 2007

American Samoa's Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources is taking action to protect the 10 largest coral reef fish species found in the territory's waters.

The move comes after evidence has shown a decline in these species in the last several years.

DMWR Director Ufagafa Ray Tulaofno said most of these fish species are rare which means that a fisher could catch the last one by accident and not even know it.

The 10 fish species being targeted for protection include the giant grouper, bumphead wrasse, and bumphead parrotfish.

Some of these fish can grow up to 1,000 pounds.

The bumphead parrot is very rare and only five sightings have been recorded by DMWR biologists in the last few years.

The Department will soon begin the process of consultation and public hearings to gather public input on regulations to protect the 10 largest coral reef fish species.