30 Jul 2003

American Samoa calls for better management of Pacific fisheries

3:25 pm on 30 July 2003

American Samoa's director of Marine and Wildlife Resources, Ray Tulafono, has told a fisheries conference unless there is a worldwide effort to better manage marine resources, the fisheries will decline.

Mr Tulafono was speaking at the Leadership Seminar for Pacific Islands Fisheries in Hawaii, which is examining the shrinking of the world's fish supply.

Mr Tulafono says coastal fisheries are so different from one another that a broad-brush management approach is not the most effective way to protect them.

Conference participants have agreed that one of the keys to resolving fishing issues is to find a single responsible party like the local community.

Mr Tulafono says nine villages in America Samoa have established marine preserves and he says once the village council establishes a regulations, there will be strong community pressure to adhere to them.

The conference follows a report by two Canadian scientists that commercial fishing had wiped out all but 10 percent of large fish and the average weights of the remaining fish had dropped significantly.