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Amata welcomes Interior Secretary Zinke’s recommendation for Am Samoa

Congresswoman Aumua Amata with Secretary Ryan Zinke. The two discussed marine monuments and the need for restored fishing access.   [courtesy photo]
Source: Media release, office of Congresswoman Aumua Amata

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recommendation that President Trump consider expanding access to fishing in certain marine monuments, a major step forward in efforts to restore fishing rights in American Samoa.

“I appreciate this recommendation and thorough assessment from Secretary Zinke,” said Aumua Amata. “This is good news for American Samoa, and important to the process of restoring a common-sense approach to these waters. We love our beautiful coasts and waters in American Samoa, but we also have unique economic circumstances and a heritage of fishing. I look forward to President Trump’s decision based on these facts from the Interior Department.”

“The sea is the way of life for people in American Samoa, and by restoring traditional fishing access to the area we will be able to ensure a vibrant economy and sustainable food sources, while also protecting the marine life and habitat,” said Secretary Zinke. “I'm thankful to Congresswoman Amata for her continued assistance during the review period."

Secretary Zinke’s recommendations apply to the currently designated marine monuments.

On October 11, Rep. Amata also voted for the National Monument Creation and Protection Act, which was marked up and passed by the Natural Resources Committee, to ensure thorough oversight of any future marine monument designations.

That bill would prevent bureaucratic overreach from repeating past concerns, by ensuring both local/ territorial input and insisting on Congressional approval before any new marine monument designation.