U.S., Samoa, Am. Samoa Doing Joint Marine Research

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Projects to survey fish, coral species in Samoas

By Joyetter Feagaimaalii-Luamanu

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, March 30, 2016) – Scientists from the United States, American Samoa, and Samoa are behind the two Samoa’s research project and are gearing up for a joint project that will survey fish species and coral reefs, as well as collecting oceanographic data around the Samoan Archipelago, according to a statement issued by the US Embassy in Samoa.

This week, research participants from the Samoan Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), and Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) gathered at Palolo Deep for their physical fitness test in order to go onboard the Oscar Elton Sette research vessel and be a part of the project.

The scientific objectives of this project are to support current bio-sampling efforts by collecting juvenile and adult stage deep-slope and shallow-water bottom fish (snappers, groupers), coastal pelagic fish and coral reef fish for life history studies.

"They are also collecting eggs and the larval and juvenile stages of pelagic fish and bottom fish and information on the associated oceanography to further understanding of stock structure, distribution, transport, pelagic duration, and connectivity. They will also map sea grass beds and deploy temperature loggers around Manono Island," according to the press release. The scientists are also to conduct coral bleaching surveys around Upolu and Savai’i and also monitor and conduct fish surveys at Samoa’s nearshore and offshore fish aggregating devices (FADs).

According to the US Embassy this project is spearheaded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and also includes participants from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, American Samoa Department of Marine and Natural Resources, MAF, MNRE, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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