Dive Site: Fagatele Bay Marine Sanctuary, American Samoa

Porites with jo for scale diving the marine sanctuary at fagatele bay american samoa diveplanit banner

Site Overview

Site Type: Scenic reef in a marine sanctuary zone
Depth: Median: 4MBottom: 8M
Location: On the south west of the island accessible via Futiga on Route 120.

Description

Fagatele Bay is thought to have the greatest diversity of marine life in the National Marine Sanctuary System, with 168 species of corals and 271 species of fish. Amongst the most common are surgeons, butterflyfish, angels in particular the very shy lemon peel angels, colourful wrasse, and anemonefish. Here is a short video showing the prolific fish life. Check out the corals too – all in great condition.

The water quality too is excellent with vis typically around +30m.

Jo Gopro superglued to his hand diving the Marine Sanctuary at Fagatele Bay American Samoa Diveplanit 7539

The terrain is large clusters of different coral types, staghorn thickets, large porites and fine grained acropora.

Ultrafine grained acropora diving the Marine Sanctuary at Fagatele Bay American Samoa by Diveplanit

Hiding under the large porites are soldierfish, and there are many damsels flitting in and out of the finger corals. The surgeons are everywhere, and butterflyfish are well represented, including the beautiful ornate butterflyfish.

Ornate butterfly diving the Marine Sanctuary at Fagatele Bay American Samoa by Diveplanit

The colourful Saddleback.

Saddleback butterfly diving the Marine Sanctuary at Fagatele Bay American Samoa by Diveplanit

And also the Very Long Nosed, Lattice, Redfin and Reticulated.

Reticulated butterflyfish diving the Marine Sanctuary at Fagatele Bay American Samoa by Diveplanit

Inside the bay the max depth is 8m with 4.5m a typical average dive depth. Ambient light is sufficient to show all the corals in their true colours.

Cos lettuce coral diving the Marine Sanctuary at Fagatele Bay American Samoa by Diveplanit

The fish are quite wary of divers and tend to keep a good distance, or disappear quickly beneath the reef, particularly the Lemon Peel Angels.

Lemon peel angelfish diving the Marine Sanctuary at Fagatele Bay American Samoa by Diveplanit

Even the normally quite tolerant Moorish Idols would not let me get very close.

Pair of Moorish Idols diving the Marine Sanctuary at Fagatele Bay American Samoa by Diveplanit

Black tipped reef sharks and eagle rays are often spotted at Fagatele close to the drop off. Hawksbill and green sea turtles, dolphins and humpback whales visit the bay too.

Fagatele can be done as a shore dive, though the hike back up the hillside to your vehicle may prove challenging for the less fit diver!

At last we're in the water diving the Marine Sanctuary at Fagatele Bay American Samoa by Diveplanit