According Dr. Ruth S. Matagi-Tofiga, Council member and current DMWR director, Manu`a and Tutuila have a long history of sustainable use of marine resources. “We have also traditionally managed our coastal fisheries,” she notes. “Local communities know who is doing what on the reefs, including fishermen who use destructive fishing methods. My people are definitely stewards of the ocean. This Sanctuary expansion has caused a lot of public outcry, and, as director of DMWR, I will do whatever I can to stop this expansion from going forth by providing the most accurate scientific evidence for our government to make decisions.”
Today, the Council also addressed protected species issues, including the National Marine Fisheries Service’s proposed listing of 66 species of coral as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the listing of the main Hawaiian Islands insular false killer whale as endangered under the ESA, as well as management of fisheries in the Mariana Archipleago.
The Council is responsible for providing the US Secretary of Commerce with recommendations for federally managed fisheries in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the remote US Pacific Island areas.
For a complete agenda, go to www.wpcouncil.org/meetings or email firstname.lastname@example.org; phone (808) 522-8220, or fax (808) 522-8226.
(Source: Western Pacific Fishery Management Council Press Release)