10 May 2010

Fagamalo in American Samoa first village to create protected marine area

10:32 am on 10 May 2010

The village of Fagamalo in American Samoa has become the first village in the Territory to have a designated no-take protected marine area.

Villagers of Fagamalo held an agreement signing ceremony with the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources that will see the protection of marine resources in a 2.25 square kilometres of ocean.

Fishing will be prohibited in that protected area.

The Marine Department's Director, Ufagafa Ray Tulafono, says it is up to the village whether it wishes to review the regulations of the protected area five or 10 years from now.

A chief of Fagamalo village, Faletogo Taliloa, say they needed to protect their ocean from overfishing.

"All the fishermen that come into this area and all of Fagamalo's area, they fish and then go sell it in the market, that's not a good idea, we don't like that idea. Fagamalo only fish so that we can have enough fish to for each family to eat, that's the reason why we want to protect this area for the future of Fagamalo and the whole of American Samoa."