Impact on Am. Samoa economy led to concerns about NOAA's possible expansion
The public hearing over the proposed expansion of the Marine Sanctuary saw pillars of the community expressing their concerns about the impact this will have on our economy.
Held at the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center, more than 200 people attended to voice their opinions including StarKist workers who were outside of the building showcasing their objections with banners saying no to the expansion.
The majority of those who attended the public hearing late afternoon yesterday were against the prospect of expanding potential fishery closures through designating a marine sanctuary within the full U.S. economic exclusive zones of the Pacific Remote Island Areas which already include a Marine National Monument, citing economical reasons.
One of the issues raised pertains to the Chinese fishing vessels dominating the ocean.
Businessman Vince Haleck, President and Owner of Three long-line fishing vessels that are part of the local fleet of per seiners says he supports maintaining the sanctuary but none of the local fleets fishes around the said areas.
According to Haleck, until American Samoa can protect their own waters there is nothing they can do.
Chairman of the American Samoa Chamber of Commerce, Jason Betham also took the stand and had this to say.