21 Sep 2015

More villages to join American Samoa marine protection

9:12 am on 21 September 2015

American Samoa's Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources is hoping more villages will participate in a community-based Marine Protected Area programme.

The department's director, Dr Ruth Matagi, spoke in the wake of an agreement signed between it and the mayor of Fagaalu Village, Uso Lagoo, to designate the village as a protected area.

Dr Matagi says it took Fagaalu a while to enter the programme because of sediment from a quarry entering the ocean.

She says villages must be clear of marine pollution before they can be accepted into the programme, but she hopes others will follow suit.

"They, through some of the mandates by the quarry programme, were able to address and put in the best management practices for Fagalu and allowed Fagalu to be in the programme."

13 villages in American Samoa have been declared Marine Protected Areas.