18 Feb 2013

Coral listing worries American Samoa

5:34 am on 18 February 2013

Pago Pago residents have voiced objections after finding that 46 coral species found in American Samoa have been listed under the Endangered Species Act.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is proposing that it list the species under the Act.

More than 20 American Samoa residents attended a recent meeting with NOAA officials and most expressed concern about the listing's economic, social and cultural impact on fishing activities.

The opponents of the listing were even more disheartened after hearing that the process around the Act does not take economic impacts into consideration.

The NOAA officials told the group that listing a species as endangered does not prohibit activities like recreational fishing or diving as a whole, but stops activities that can harm or injure the listed coral species, such as removing them.

Residents wanted a guarantee from the Administration that the listing will not affect subsistence fishing and cultural practices such those observed during the palolo and akule seasons.