Progress for Shark Conservation: American Samoa

Written by on November 19, 2012 in Policy & Ocean Law
Whale sharks (above) are found in the waters of American Samoa.

Whale sharks (above) are found in the waters of American Samoa. Photo credit: NOAA.

Last week, American Samoa, a U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean, took a big step towards protecting sharks.

Shark fishing within its waters is banned, and the trade and possession of shark fins and other shark parts is now prohibited.  It is the last of the U.S. territories in the Pacific to ban shark fin trade.

“American Samoa, through these important actions, has now closed off the flow of shark fins through the U.S. Pacific islands,” said Jill Hepp, director of Global Shark Conservation for the Pew Environment Group.

“Pacific island leadership is helping these animals, threatened by overfishing, to keep their place as apex predators.  We are very pleased that American Samoa joins the growing chorus of Pacific island voices in support of shark conservation.”

“Sharks have been an important part of our ocean, reef and cultural environments,” said Governor Togiola T.A. Tulafono.  “Their disappearance would be devastating to the environment and our Samoan culture.  An ocean without sharks is completely inconceivable to me.  Sharks have supported the health of our ocean, our fisheries and our economy, and should remain that way for generations to come.  American Samoa is committed to playing a serious role in ensuring that these wonderful animals survive for our future.”

Coastline of American Samoa.

Coastline of American Samoa. Photo credit: Kip Evans, NOAA.

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Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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