CHINESE FISHING VESSEL FINED $105,000 FOR ILLEGAL FISHING IN

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CONGRESSMAN ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA From American Samoa U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE December 21, 1999

AMERICAN SAMOA'S EEZ: $60,000 GOES TO AMERICAN
SAMOA GOVERNMENT

Congressman Eni Faleomavaega announced today that earlier this year, a foreign fishing vessel was caught fishing illegally in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) which surrounds American Samoa.

Of the total fine of $105,000, $60,000 has been transferred to the American Samoa Government (ASG).

This transfer was made pursuant to a change in federal law, worked on by the Congressman, to assist the U.S. Pacific insular areas in obtaining funding to support local fisheries enforcement and marine conservation costs.

"The new law is working!" said Faleomavaega. "It takes a joint effort, and I am glad to see the dividends of this local-federal partnership."

In this case, Uaea Ualesi, an alia fisherman sighted the foreign vessel and reported the sighting to Special Agent Martina Sagapolu-Failauga of the National Marine Fisheries Service and Officer Edwin Seui of the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources. The vessel was boarded and searched, and the violations of federal law were confirmed.

"I want to commend Mr. Ualesi for filing an accurate report, and to the federal and local enforcement officers for their prompt and thorough action," said the Congressman.

"With the continued support of our local fishermen and fishing enforcement staff, we can ensure that our local resources are protected from foreign operations such as this."

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