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Manumalo takes first place for "Fishing: Food. Life. Future" exhibit

Pictured are the students from Manumalo — with their $600 check — along with one of American Samoa's three members on the Council, Taotasi Archie Soliai, and Dept. of Marine and Wildlife Resources director Va'amua Henry Sesepasara. [photo: BC]

Manumalo Academy High School took home a check of $600 from the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, for placing first in the high school fisheries exhibit contest hosted by the Council last Wednesday evening at the Governor H. Rex Auditorium in Utulei.

Themed "Fishing: Food. Life. Future", the competition was open to all public and private high schools in American Samoa.

Each school or designated student org (e.g. the National Honor Society) was to submit a single three-panel exhibit (similar to a science fair display) that explains the different fisheries in American Samoa, and how these fisheries are important to the territory, to their village, to their family, or to them individually.

Each school was only allowed one entry.

The competition coincided with the Council's 171st Meeting which was hosted locally last week. Council members from American Samoa, along with the Council's chair, vice chairs, and executive director comprised the judging panel that evaluated each entry based on several things including: understanding of American Samoa fisheries and their importance; effectiveness in communicating the information; and creativity and/or technique.

In the end, the Flames walked away with $600. Second place honors went to Samoana High School, whose students received $400; and South Pacific Academy took home the third place award and a check for $200.

A statement from the Council reads; "The Council is grateful for the assistance provided by the American Samoa Department of Education in organizing and implementing the contest."