Samoa Briefs

joyetter@samoanews.com

NOAA WELCOMES STUDENTS ON BOARD

Apia, SAMOA — Students in Samoa met scientists from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) who were at the Apia Harbor as part of a joint deep-water research mission between America and Independent Samoa. Last Friday, science students from several local schools, the National University of Samoa and civil society groups went on-board for a tour of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to learn more about the deep-sea technologies used to explore the ocean: deep-water sonars; a two-body remotely operated vehicle that can dive to 6000m (nearly 4 miles), and telepresence – enabling teams of scientists to participate in the expedition remotely from shore.

NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research is collaborating with partners to conduct two telepresence-enabled ocean exploration cruises in the region. These cruises will use the ship’s capabilities to investigate unknown and poorly known deepwater areas in American Samoa and Samoa, with an emphasis on the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument and National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. The expedition is part of a major multi-year foundational science effort focused on deepwater areas of U.S. marine protected areas in the central and western Pacific. Also onboard the ship is engineer and videographer with the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration, Dan Rogers, who delivered a presentation to the general public on Friday night at the Apia Yacht Club, drawing comparisons between ancient and modern ocean exploration, including deep sea robotics. 

Rogers has sailed a number of times onboard Hokulea, the legendary traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe, which has given him a unique platform to be able to discuss both traditional and modern navigation in depth.  This program was in collaboration with Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration, Samoa Voyaging Society, NOAA and the United States Embassy in Apia.

LEFT HAND VEHICLES WILL BE ALLOWED BACK INTO SAMOA

Apia, SAMOA — Families who wish to import vehicles from the United States and American Samoa will welcome the news that the Samoa Government has once again allowed the importation of left hand vehicles in Samoa, but not for commercial use.  It will be for private use only.

Chief Executive Officer of the Land Transport Authority, Leasi Vainalepa Galuvao told Samoa News via email about the change and while he did not go into details as to why, he made it clear that it will effective on April 1, 2017. He also pointed out the vehicles will be allowed under precise rules that they are for private use only. He also explained that only 100 vehicles can be allowed on a monthly basis.

SAMOA POLICE WOMEN’S NETWORK ASSIST VICTIMS GROUP

Apia, SAMOA — The Samoa Police Women’s Advisory Network (SPWAN) led by Superintendent Monalisa Ioane-Keti, continue their in kind donations to assist with Samoa Victim Support Group work for children at the Campus of Hope. This is the second year they have visited the SVSG, and they anticipate making it an annual event. Last week’s SPWAN initiative  coincides with the International Women’s Day 2017.

Moanalisa at the brief ceremony acknowledged the importance of SVSG’s work in assisting with Police work for women and children victims of violence. “The Network is looking at making this donation an annual event as part of the SP WAN’s celebration of International Women’s Day. Donation of food supplies and clothing were presented by the Samoa Police Women Advisory Network during the visit.”

SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang acknowledged this partnership and thanked SPWAN saying, “Thank you for remembering the work of SVSG; this work started from a partnership with the Police and the Ministry of Justice. It is good to see the Samoa Police Women reviving this partnership for our work with families in Samoa.”

Siliniu also pointed out that in honor of the International Women’s Day their strong message is to ‘Empower Women’ the champions against family violence in Samoa. She stated that as part of a 2-year project with UN Women Fund for Gender Equality (FGE), SVSG through its village representatives is working with village and church leaders, to gauge support for the economic empowerment of women, with specific focus on Nofotane Women.

“The Project targets 5,000 unemployed women to be trained on income generating skills with the aim to ensure sustainable self-employment for 500 of these women. Through previous projects, SVSG had empowered women survivors of violence with disabilities in Upolu and Savaii, with livelihood skills now enabling them to be self-sufficient, through income earned from their small business activities.” She congratulated all the women of Samoa on this special day, especially women survivors of violence and women at risk, who have been economically empowered through its program.

FISH AGGREGATING DEVICE PROJECT UNDERWAY

Apia, SAMOA — The Samoa International Game Fishing Association (SIGFA) kicked off their fish aggregating device (FAD) project and they have essentially strategically placed contraptions which are anchored in Samoan waters attracting large schools of fish, so the local fishermen don’t need to venture out too far to catch fish, saving them fuel and time as well as virtually guaranteeing consistent catch rates.

During a ceremony to officially open this project last week, SIGFA President, Kevin Kohlhase says they are proud to contribute towards Samoa’s economy and sports tourism through their “2017 FAD Project”. “The total cost of the FAD Project is worth over 100,000 tala with a total of 10 FADS being deployed by SIGFA for 2017. The money raised for this project was made possible through SIGFA’s Annual Game Fishing Tournament with 2017 marking our 21st Samoa Annual Game Fishing Tournament.”

He said that SIGFA is thankful to have received significant financial assistance through the New Zealand High Commission fund towards the purchase and deployment of the project. He also acknowledged the assistance provided by their major supporter Apia Concrete Products, the Government of Samoa, Samoa International Finance Authority, Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, Ministry of Revenue, Samoa Ports Authority, and Samoa Quarantine, SIGFA also acknowledges support from the business community and SIGFA members to enable their club to execute the 2017 FAD Project that benefits all.

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