25 Jun 2012

Plan for American Samoa marine sanctuary released

5:44 am on 25 June 2012

The final management plan for the Fagatele National Marine Sanctuary in American Samoa has now been released.

The plan, which is 414 pages long, now includes changes in response to public comments made during the comment period.

The Sanctuary now encompasses not just Fagatele, but Fagalua/Fogama'a coves, waters around Muliava also known as Rose Atoll, and additional waters around Swains Island, Aunu'u Island and Ta'u Island.

These waters include some of the oldest and largest known corals in the world.

The name of the sanctuary has been changed form Fagatele National Marine Sanctuary to National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

One of the major changes in the final plan allows surface fishing and trawling at the research zone in Aunu'u, which was originally proposed as a no-take area.

A proposed regulation to allow only hook and line fishing at Fagalua/Fogama'a is now removed from the plan, opening the area for additional methods of harvest.