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Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary Official Site     March 24, 2017



About the Sanctuary


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American Samoa




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America Samoa

Location: American Samoa is in the Pacific ocean about two-thirds of the way between Hawaii and New Zealand. It is 14 degrees south of the Equator and just east of the International Date Line.

Size: American Samoa has a total area of 199 square kilometers (76 square miles), roughly about the size of Washington D.C. The population is approximately 60,000.

Landscape: American Samoa consists of 5 inhabited volcanic islands with rugged peaks and limited coastal plains, plus two coral atolls. Pago Pago, on the island of Tutuila is one of the best natural deepwater harbors in the South Pacific Ocean.

Climate: American Samoa has a tropical marine climate, moderated by southeast trade winds. There is little seasonal temperature variation. Average temperature is 82º F. The rainy season lasts from November to April. Typhoons are common from December through March.

History: American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States, obtained by treaty with local chiefs in 1900.

People: The Samoans represent the largest population of Polynesian people. Despite exposure to outside influences, the Samoans take pride in their two thousand-year-old culture (fa'a samoa, the Samoan Way) and have preserved it successfully. Daily life still revolves around cultural traditions. The people of Samoa are bilingual. English is used mainly in school and in business situations and Samoan is spoken in the home and among friends. American Samoa has a 97 percent literacy rate.

Economy: The government and the tuna canning industry employ the majority of American Samoans. Washington provides most of the operating budget of the territorial government. Together, the Starkist and Samoa Packing tuna canneries pack and can 95% of American Samoa's exports.

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