|August 21, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|WASHINGTON, D.C.—SEA GRANT TO PROVIDE $150,000 IN FEDERAL FUNDS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF TILAPIA AND ORNAMENTAL CLAM INDUSTRIES IN AMERICAN SAMOA|
Faleomavaega announced today that Sea Grant will provide $150,000 in federal
funding for the development of tilapia and ornamental clam aquaculture
industries in American Samoa.
“For some time, I have been working closely with the National Sea Grant College Program to develop tilapia and clam farms in our local villages,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “As a result of these efforts, I am pleased that Sea Grant has agreed to fund these projects which I believe will help American Samoa diversify its economy.”
“Funds for these projects will be administered by the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program and a minimum of five workshops will be conducted in American Samoa by aquaculture consultants and extension agents. Initial workshop topics will include the construction of tanks, tilapia husbandry and giant clam husbandry.”
“Dr. Albert Tacon, a University of Hawaii Aquatic Feeds and Nutrition expert, will also meet with our local farmers and conduct a feeds development seminar at the Land Grant Division of the American Samoa Community College. We are hopeful that through his involvement we will be able to develop a lower-cost feed which in turn will make our aquaculture industries more profitable,” the Congressman said. “Efforts will also be focused on developing local, U.S., and international markets and on product marketing and the effective shipping of quality products.”
“With a 12% unemployment rate and little infrastructure to support tourism, there is a critical need for creating industries that will be sustainable and compatible with traditional Samoan culture,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “I have always believed that the ocean is our farm and that there is tremendous potential in aquaculture development. The U.S., for example, imports more than 274 million pounds of live tilapia per year with a value of $174 million. The marine ornamental industry is a $6 billion per year industry.”
“Given these facts, there is every reason to believe that American Samoa can develop profitable tilapia and marine ornamental industries and I am pleased that Sea Grant has agreed to assist us in this effort. At this time, I want to thank Dr. Ronald Baird, Director of the National Sea Grant College Program, and Dr. Gordon Grau, Director of Sea Grant Hawaii, for their continued support.”
“Once again, I want to thank them for honoring my request to send one of their top scientists to help us develop aquaculture farms where we can grow ornamental clams, live coral, tilapia and even shrimp. As a result of their support, Dr. Darren Okimoto has now been teaching marine science courses at the American Samoa Community College for more than a year and I am sure that many of our students will continue their studies at the University of Hawaii and one day return home to teach and practice.”
“More than three years ago, American Samoa’s Economic Development Commission conducted a survey in the Territory and found that more than 63% of respondents believed that agriculture and fishery related industries should be encouraged for purposes of economic development. There was also strong agreement (83.1%) that economic information should be disseminated to educate and inform the public.”
“With the establishment of a Sea Grant presence in American Samoa and with federal funding to support our efforts, I am pleased that we are well on our way to establishing fish farming and other aquaculture ventures at a level that will diversify our economy and promote further economic development in the Territory,” the Congressman concluded.
|Press Release List|