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Pacific News Briefs

compiled by Samoa News staff


Majuro, Marshall Islands  — Pacific tuna resource owners concluded their annual meeting Friday in the Marshall Islands by sending a strong message of their commitment to conserving and managing tuna resources, while increasing economic benefits for the nine islands in the western and central Pacific that use the globally-recognized “Vessel Day Scheme” (VDS) to manage their fishery.

   Ministers from the eight Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) members — Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau and Tokelau— recognized the successful implementation of the purse seine VDS, the development of the longline VDS and the progress in branding and vertical integration through the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Pacifical marketing joint venture. 

   At the outset of the three-day meeting Kiribati Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Development Tetabo Nakara handed over chairmanship of the PNA to his counterpart from the Marshall Islands, Minister of Resources and Development Alfred Alfred, Jr. The ministers thanked both new CEO Ludwig Kumoru and outgoing CEO Dr. Transform Aqorau for their work in furthering effective resource management and business initiatives of the PNA.

   Following Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine’s announcement at the opening of the 12th PNA Ministerial Meeting last week Wednesday of the Marshall Islands intention to build a new facility for the PNA Office in Majuro, ministers agreed to the plan, and committed to share the financing of the building.

   In addition, PNA called on members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission to work with them on adopting a new conservation measure at the December annual meeting that will sustain tuna resources going forward, expressed concern about the delay in a scheduled payment by the United States government for fisheries access of its purse seine fleet, and set the “Total Allowed Effort” — the number of fishing days annually allowed for purse seine fishing 2017-2019 — as well as the “Parties Allowed Effort” — the division of the TAE for each of the nine islands implementing the VDS.  

Before concluding the 12th PNA Ministerial Meeting Friday afternoon, ministers agreed to accept Nauru’s invitation to host the 2018 annual Official and Ministerial Meetings.

(Source: PNA media release)


Washington, D.C. – Friday, June 23, 2017 — Congresswoman Aumua Amata has announced that the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, under the U.S. Department of Education, has awarded American Samoa two grants totaling $6.9 Million.

“This important funding will help ensure that our students with disabilities, who need and deserve additional resources for learning, receive the education they need to thrive,” stated Amata. “Education is the foundation upon which bright and brilliant futures are built, and every child deserves the opportunity to learn and grow."

American Samoa will receive $6,333,697 under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This grant will provide the funding necessary to help make public education for all children with disabilities in our islands free and more accessible.

The second grant, also under IDEA, in the amount of $608, 850, will improve American Samoa’s capacity to provide early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities as well as their families.

“I would like to thank the U.S. Department of Education and the Office of Special Education Programs for recognizing the need for this critical funding.  I also want to thank ASDOE Director Dr. Ruth Matagi-Tofiga and the rest of our local officials who helped obtain this important funding for our children,” concluded Amata.

(Source: Congresswoman Amata’s Washington Office)