Dear Editor,

I strongly oppose the expansion of the Fagatele Bay Sanctuary. Our Samoan people are living in some challenging economic times due to high unemployment and escalating cost of living.  Bare necessities continue to be in great demand. With little or no income for food and shelter, our people are depending on our reefs for survival.

Our ancestors, village people, and others have been fishing these reefs for years to subsidize food intake and we should continue to enjoy this freedom. Our reefs are critical to our survival as we place our trust in the local and federal government to preserve our fa'a Samoa and our traditional way of fishing.

In a true democratic society, a referendum should have been the way to obtain the consent of all people or the ‘majority rule' concept, not just the village council, or some village chiefs' representatives.

In the absence of the majority, the unemployed, the poor, the have-nots, the less fortunate do not have a voice in the governance process. In logical reasoning, some have deduced that this is a civil rights violation.

In addition, NOAA should have acquired a private consultant to conduct public scoping rather than its own staff. This may eliminate biased results of the proposal. 

In particular, according to the proposed rules, "Larsen Bay and Aunu'u were included for consideration based on preliminary biogeographic information analyzed by sanctuary staff."  One would think that sanctuary staff acted capriciously and arbitrarily for their self interest.

We need to unite and petition against the expansion before the due date. If you are interested, please contact me @ 733-1670, or email me at tuifaleamato@yahoo.com. 

Ma le fa'aaloalo

Tuifaleamato R. A. Tagovailoa, Futiga resident

(Editor's Note: Samoa News has received other emails in opposition to the Fagatele Bay Sanctuary expansion plans, many saying they see it is NOAA - federal government and the Sanctuary staff - local government merely going through the motions - the expansion is a done deal. The common thread throughout the complaints is with the ‘process' and its lack of transparency. ra)


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