American Samoa to avoid fish extinction

9 July 2013, Nadi, Fiji - Coral bleaching and fish extinction are some of the issues on American Samoa's agenda.

This was revealed by American Samoa's Head of the National Meteorology Services, Leilua Mase Akapo in an interview today.

"Global warming has caused widespread coral bleaching in the territory," he said.

Many villages in American Samoa, according to Leilua, are involved in marine biodiversity conservation projects that prohibit fishing in selected areas for a period of two years.

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National park of American Samoa © 

"These are efforts by our government and the community to preserve and replenish the coral reefs and avoid fish extinction in the future.

"There have been some very positive outcomes with these projects and the villages are very happy with it."

He said they have a coral monitoring conservation strategy put in place to save their coral reefs.

Leilua is a representative of the territory at the Joint Meeting of the 2013 Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management & Pacific Climate Change Roundtable in Fiji this week.

"I'm beginning to see the many positive aspects of this meeting that could benefit American Samoa like other Pacific countries," said Leilua.

"Many of our people in the territory do not understand about the many issues that are being discussed at these regional meetings.

"I'm interested in the process of the roadmap discussed this week and I will see if there is anything in there that could benefit our territory. I will return to American Samoa and give an update of the meeting to see if we can fit into any of these processes."

Leilua was referring to the integrated strategy process that combines functions of the Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change.

Leilua said he was fortunate to be here because many people in American Samoa do not understand what goes on in these meetings.

The Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable is from 8 – 11 July and is jointly organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. The meeting is hosted by the Government of Fiji.
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