Posted inStory / Samoa

Samoa to focus on challenges faced by oceans

Sea level rise and illegal fishing is harming Samoa’s present and future

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says the biggest challenges that Samoa is facing are related to its oceans.

Tuilaepa says sea level rise is an effect of global warming and illegal fishing is harming Samoa’s present and threatens its future.

“That is our biggest fear, which is why our focus must be wide to target the changes in the climate and address the many problems harming our waters,” he said.

“The first is sea level rise, the predictions by experts say at the current change rate, Samoa in thirty years would be much different from what it is now. Most villages would have to move inland,” he said.

“You’re looking at 30 to 50 feet above ground right now, meaning the shores would be at Tanugamanono. That’s why the leaders of the Pacific are pleading the UN and other relevant authorities to consider the struggle the Pacific is facing,” he said.

Natural causes aren’t the only reasons Samoa’s oceans are under attack.

“There is a policy called the IUUF, which is Illegal Unreported Unregistered Fishing and these guys they fish under shadows and they don’t report to our authorities how much they caught and what they caught leaving the authorities to guess where we are at with our marine wildlife,” he said.

While fishing for food isn’t considered a terrible crime it’s the overfishing and methods of fishing of unknown fishermen that is worrying the government.

“Everything has changed, the climate, the water levels, and the migration of animals, including our ocean creatures, and in order to fix the problem with food security we have to know their new patterns while at the same time keeping track of our consumption,” he added.

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