A Japanese research vessel has been in American Samoa to collect samples of fresh water eels as eel numbers elsewhere are dropping.
The Hakuho Maru is a large-scale research vessel operated by an independent research institute.
A PhD student from Fiji studying at the University of Tokyo, Chinthaka Anushka Hewavitarane, said eels were a rare and highly sought commodity in the Asian Pacific region.
"We need to find out as much as we can to put into practice conservation plans, management and proper sustainable utilisation of eels."
The researchers from Japan were escorted by government employees to various sites, including Fagatele Bay.