|January 11, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|WASHINGTON, D.C.—FALEOMAVAEGA PUSHES FOR GREATER SEA GRANT PRESENCE IN AMERICAN SAMOA|
| As the Ranking Member
of the Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans, Congressman
Faleomavaega is aggressively working to establish greater Sea Grant presence
in American Samoa for purposes of diversifying the Territory’s economy.
“Dr. Gordon Grau, Director of the Sea Grant College Program at the University of Hawaii, has accepted my invitation to visit American Samoa from January 12 – 15th. He will be accompanied by Dr. Bruce Miller, Director of Sea Grant Extension Service and Pacific Programs, and Dr. Jack Davidson, Program Specialist for the Sea Grant College Program. We will be making site visits and holding local meetings to discuss ways in which we can use aquaculture, marine technology, ecotourism and other marine resources to diversify our economy and build a more sustainable future for our people,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
Congressman Faleomavaega noted that, like many other Pacific Island nations, American Samoa faces an uphill battle in developing a sound economic base while protecting its environment and culture. “That is why we must develop an innovative program of research, education and extension services that advances aquaculture, fisheries, precious coral and deep-sea technology.”
“As I’ve said before, the ocean is our farm. We are rich in marine resources. But we must capitalize on our opportunities and resources. In fact, we must join forces with agencies and organizations like Sea Grant to focus efforts on all aspects of developing economically viable aquaculture/fisheries and ecotourism industries,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“We must also forge new relationships for developing and disseminating information. That is why I have asked Dr. Grau and his associates to meet with representatives from ASCC to explore how the two institutions can work together to facilitate marine awareness and carry out on-island projects that focus on marine resource management, conservation and education,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “I have also asked Dr. Grau to base a full-time extension agent in American Samoa.”
“I believe our marine resources are key to economic development in American Samoa. As such, we need to build or renew collaborative partnerships that combine the traditional culture of Samoa with western science and economics. I am pleased that Dr. Grau and his associates are enthusiastic about establishing a greater Sea Grant presence in American Samoa,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “I look forward to our discussions.”
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