17 May 2011

Marine environment around Swains Islands described as spectacular

8:57 pm on 17 May 2011

The director of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Marine Sanctuaries, Daniel Basta, says the ocean and marine life around Swains Island in American Samoa is spectacular.

Accompanied by Governor Togiola Tulafono, Mr Basta visited the island last week as part of a campaign by the Administration, to promote awareness and appreciation of the ocean.

Mr Basta says Swains is still pristine and he did not see evidence of sick corals as in other places he'd dived.

"You've got to be careful when you dive here because the fringing reef is very close and it has a little shallow shelf - it goes down to about 60, 65 feet and then it goes swoosh...And you have to swim along there, and it has wonderful what we call spur and grooves, that are underwater channels that come up to the island - they are like canals, so you want to dive in those and look under the rocks - spectacular actually."