2 May 2017

American Samoan leaders requests info from NOAA mission

9:07 am on 2 May 2017

Traditional leaders made specific requests for information from the deep sea exploration conducted off American Samoa by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

no caption

Photo: Tony Webster, CC by 2.0

The research vessel Okeanos Explorer is making its way back to the US mainland after more than two months exploring uncharted ocean depths around the islands of Tutuila, Aunuu, Manu'a and Swains.

New marine and plant life, seamounts, rocks and other organisms were found.

Assistant Superintendent of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa, Atuatasi Lelei Peau said the Office of Samoan Affairs gave three specific requests during planning for the mission.

"One was on seamounts. The second was on the relationship, the connectivity between shallow and deeper oceans," Atuatasi said.

"The third one really came from the Office of Samoan Affairs, it's about the tsunami. This was a result of 2009 [tsunami which killed 34 in the territory].

"There was great interest from local officials to find out more about what causes a tsunami and when is the next one that could hit American Samoa," he said.