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Mon Feb 8, 2021, 05:15 AM

Territorial governors seek comment period extension for threatened coral

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The governors of American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas and Guam have requested the US National Marine Fisheries Service to provide an additional 90-days for public comments on the proposed rule to designate critical habitat for seven threatened corals in US waters in the Indio-Pacific.

“The designation has the potential to impact a wide range of activities necessary to maintain our island economies and infrastructure,” the governors’ wrote in a joint Jan. 19th letter to Chris Oliver, assistant administrator for Fisheries at NMFS.

“Our governments were not consulted in advance of the proposed rule and require the additional time to review the rule and associated supporting documents,” the letter said and noted that the proposal “encompasses 230 square miles of shallow water areas surrounding the islands in our jurisdictions, with most of the propose designated area occurring within Territorial and Commonwealth waters”.

The letter, signed by American Samoa Gov. Lemanu P.S Mauga, CNMI Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Guam Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero, was included in Congresswoman Uifa’atali Aumua Amata’s Feb. 3rd correspondent to Paul Doremus, the Acting Assistant Administrator for Fishers at NMFS.

Read more: https://www.samoanews.com/local-news/territorial-governors-seek-comment-period-extension-threatened-coral

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