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Parrotfish, surgeonfish, and emperor fish stocks in American Samoa are ‘highly productive’

Source: Media Release

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Fisheries Division of the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources (DMWR), in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and Poseidon Fisheries Research, concluded the Second Fisheries Science Research and Workshop, held in American Samoa earlier this month.

The project was funded by NOAA and studied the life history of three locally-targeted fish: parrotfish (laea/fuga), surgeonfish (umelei), and the emperor (filoa).

Fisheries Division staff Sean Felise, Ekueta Schuster, and Fale Tuilagi collected earbones and gonads from the three fish species and the tissues were processed by TNC and Poseidon Fisheries Research scientist Cassie Pardee.

The workshop provided training for Fisheries staff and fishermen to determine fish age from otoliths and spawning stages from gonads. It also provided stock assessment tools to determine optimum fish size to target to maintain healthy fish populations.

The research indicated that maximum age for the three fish range from 7-10 years, indicating highly productive fish stocks.