22 Mar 2017

American Samoa governor praises fishing rights ruling

3:16 pm on 22 March 2017

American Samoa's Governor has praised a federal court ruling overturning a 2016 decision by the US National Marine Fishery Service.

That decision cut the large vessel protected area, or LVPA, in the waters of American Samoa.

American Samoa filed a lawsuit at the Honolulu federal court arguing among other things that the federal agency had acted arbitrarily in changing the boundaries.

US District Court Judge Leslie Kobayashi agreed and also sided with the territory's argument the federal agency had ignored the two Deeds of Cession with the United States.

In a statement, Governor Lola Matalasi Moliga, said the Deeds were sacred documents to the people of American Samoa.

He said American Samoa's position had always been that the Deeds must be consulted when federal agencies wished to impose federal laws on American Samoa.

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