The Department Of Marine & Wildlife Resources

The Department Of Marine & Wildlife Resources

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Group photo taken with Misili Fai'ai the Mayor of the village of Olosega Manu'a. Thanks to Sau Levao a representative working for the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources at Ta'u Manu'a and also to Carlo Caruso a representative from the National Park of American Samoa in Ofu for helping with the MPA Workshop for Ofu and Olosega.

Tafito Aitaoto, Lusila Minoneti and their recorder Kiso So'oto was assisting the Men's Group at the village of Ofu on the first day. The Men's Group came up with some threats to the marine environment such as; Technology. They mentioned that back in the days fishermen used dry coconut leaves (Sulu Aulama) as a flash light, but they mentioned that people can fish for 10 hours using the flash light, so people are overfishing. But back then fishermen only fish for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the dry coconut leaves or Sulu Aulama Light.

Selaina Tuimavave and Tepora Toliniu was assisting the women's group during the first day of the workshop. During the Historical Profile Activity women's from the village of Ofu mentioned some of the threats that they saw 10-20 years before that can affect the marine environment. They don't see some of the threats now days like people using Illegal Fishing methods such as Dynamite and Ava Niukini. Some other threats they mentioned were Sand Mining, Pollution (Trash), Natural Disasters and Oil Spill from boats and vessels that come to Ofu.

Maria Vaofanua and Lidwina Allen assisting the children from the village of Ofu Manu'a during the MPA Workshop that was held at Pita Ili's quest house. They were discussing threats to the Marine Environment at the village of Ofu. The community of Ofu was divided into 3 groups; Men's, Women's and the Youth, so Sione Lam Yuen Jr was the facilitator, Maria was assisting and Lidwina Allen was the recorder. This is the second day of the workshop and the first day we talked about the different Marine Resources that are found in the ocean of the village of Ofu with the Youth.

Monday, May 16, 2011

There were three main goals to the community representatives meeting on Day 4. First to discuss some of the lessons learned during the activities of the previous days. Secondly, to identify a strategy to implement the information gathered from the exchange in order to improve their own respective VMPA programs in each of their village and finally to provide and evaluation of the trip to help coordinate and plan future exchange visits. As a result of this meeting, it was clear from the group that government and village communities need to collaborate and communicate more in order to provide consistency and transparency in VMPA management activities. Both of these managing entities cannot be independent while working to implement VMPA's.

The third day was spent with MNRE officials and their MPA communities. The group traveled to Aleipata district where Vailoa village welcomed the AS group during the third traditional ava ceremony of the trip. Aleipata district was the area of Western Samoa most affected by the tsunami in September 2009. Despite the massive devastation, there were signs of complete and near complete rebuilding of communities along the Aleipata coast. After the ava ceremony by Vailoa village, they hosted breakfast for the participants before participating in the day's information sharing with communities from the Aleipata and Safata districts.

At the end discussion session, Deputy Director of DMWR Fuafuaimealelei Tuaumu briefed the Falealili community on the Community-based Fishery Management Program (CFMP) in American Samoa. He explained the similarities and differences between CFMP and their existing programs in Falealili. He also elaborated on the importance of incentive programs such as the re-stocking of giant clams that situation in Apia where the giant clams from other Pacific islands like Fiji and Tonga. Tuaumu also reiterated that in the past when the American Samoa hatchery was in full operation. AS donated clams to Apia for this very purpose to provide MPA villages with clams to re-stock their reef area.

Upon arrival in Apia, the American Samoa group was greeted by MAFF, CEO, MNRE, ACEO and their staff during a ava ceremony held at the Fisheries conference room. During the ceremony government leaders were introduced from each of the ministries. After the ceremony, the government presented presentations on the different community-based MPA programs conducted by both ministries and how they differ. This provide the participants with background information about each MPA program and how they are facilitated by each of the respective government agencies.