26 Oct 2011

Opposition to proposed American Samoa marine sanctuary expansion

6:29 pm on 26 October 2011

The council of chiefs of Aunuu have signed a petition opposing the proposed expansion of a marine sanctuary in American Samoa.

The US Federal Government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, has proposed a draft management plan to add five reef and offshore areas to the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Under the proposal, no catch areas include the six square miles around Aunuu island as well as Nafanua, Taema and three miles out.

Aunuu fisherman and matai or chief, Kitara Vaeau, signed the petition opposing the sanctuary expansion.

"I object because from what I saw on the sketch of the plan we would not be able to do any fishing around our island. This is our livelihood. No, we don't want any sanctuary around Aunuu."

The public has until the 6th of January to make a submission on the draft proposal.