President Barrack Obama has now signed the “Ensuring Access to Pacific Fisheries Act” which ensures the territory’s fishermen access to fisheries in international waters and better representation through regional fisheries councils in international talks by the North and South Pacific commissions.
An important provision of the bill is it amends the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act, to minimize disadvantage and maximize opportunities for American Samoa’s fishing fleets—especially those targeting migratory tuna stocks in the Pacific.
Congresswoman Aumua said, “I could not be happier to see that the President has signed the Ensuring Access to Pacific Fisheries Act into law.
“We worked for nearly two years on this legislation that is so important to our fishing industry, particularly in my home district of American Samoa, and I look forward to the positive impacts it will have for our fishing community.
She thanked her colleagues on the House Natural Resources Committee including Don Young and Chairman Bishop as well as the House leadership for their assistance in getting this bill through Congress.
The congresswoman also acknowledged the numerous staff members who put in many late nights to get this bill signed into law.
Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said, “The President has signed hard-fought legislation to expand fisheries access, improve management and assert U.S. expertise and leadership on important international policy and regulatory matters. Congresswoman Aumua Amata, along with others in the House and Senate, diligently elevated the importance of this issue to American Samoa’s fishing fleets and other regions and worked tirelessly to advance this bill into law.”