January 20, 1998
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. ---- FALEOMAVAEGA GETS SEATS ON FISHERIES
AND ENERGY SUBCOMMITTEES
Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he was unanimously elected to the position of Senior Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans, and chose the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources as his second subcommittee within the Committee on Resources.
"I look forward to working with the other members of the Fisheries Subcommittee on issues which have a direct impact on American Samoa and the Pacific region," said Faleomavaega. Among other things, this subcommittee has jurisdiction over all international fisheries agreements entered into by the United States. The Pacific treaty on fisheries governing the South Pacific Island nations went into force in 1988 and under this agreement the United States pays millions of dollars to Pacific island nations for the right of U.S. fishing vessels to fish in these waters. The topic has been controversial every time it has come up for legislative authorization, and I expect it to be so again during this Congress."
"The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act is the law which governs fish conservation regimes throughout the United States and plays an important role in all U.S. fisheries. Another important law, the Marine Mammal Protection Act is up for reauthorization in the 106th Congress, and changes in this law can directly impact the operations of the tuna fishing fleet homeported in our territory," continued the Congressman.
"I am also excited about being on the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee for the first time. This subcommittee has a very broad range of responsibility, and I intend to ask Congresswoman Barbara Cubin, Chairwoman of the Subcommittee, to hold hearings on the potential development of seabed minerals. There is an abundance of minerals on the ocean floor within the exclusive economic zone of American Samoa and other Pacific islands. In fact, it has been reported that the Cook Islands alone have $150 billion worth of resources within its waters. I hope to use my seat on this subcommittee to examine the feasibility of exploiting the natural resources in our waters for the benefit of American Samoa," concluded Faleomavaega.