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Samoa - A Biogeographic Assessment of the Samoan Archipelago

This report examines the marine biogeography of the Samoan Archipelago (~14º S latitude along the international date-line) with a focus on regional ocean climate, connectivity among islands due to larval transport, distributions of reef fish and coral communities, and the extent of existing marine protected areas. Management decisions and prior assessments in the archipelago have typically been split along the international political boundary between the islands of Samoa and those of American Samoa despite their close proximity and shared resources. A key goal in this assessment was to compile data from both jurisdictions and to conduct the characterization across the entire archipelago. The report builds upon earlier assessments by re-analyzing and interpreting many pre-existing datasets, adding more recent biogeographic data sources, and by combining earlier findings into a multidisciplinary summary of marine biogeography.