Coral reef fisheries are an integral part of Samoan culture. Fish and invertebrates associated with coral reefs have provided food, livelihood, and cultural use (weddings, funerals, birthdays, social title conferment) for the Samoan people for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
Historically, Samoans have used traditional methods and gears to exploit near-shore resources. However, managing coastal resources in the territory necessitates collaboration among local agencies because of many developments, including increased fishing pressure due to an expanding population and global climate change.
The Coral Reef Advisory Group provides small grants to supplement the grants that the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources uses as the territory’s lead agency in implementing programs to manage coastal and pelagic resources.
"The ocean is the lifeblood of earth, covering 70 percent of our planet's surface, it moderates our climate, and it sustains the life of 1 billion people. It's time to save our oceans."
- Sylvia Earle
Sustainable fishing is a practice that seeks to maintain or increase the population of fish and other marine species by using methods that reduce the impact on the environment. This includes avoiding overfishing, using fishing gear that minimizes bycatch, and protecting sensitive habitats. Sustainable fishing promotes economically viable and socially responsible fishing activities, meaning that fishing operations should be managed to ensure the fish population's long-term health while providing a livelihood for fishermen and their families. By reducing the impact of fishing on the environment, we can ensure healthy and abundant fish populations.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are ocean areas designated to protect and conserve marine life and habitats. In American Samoa, MPAs are essential to ocean conservation efforts. They provide a haven for marine species, help to protect the local economy, and provide recreational opportunities for visitors.