16 Jul 2009

American Samoa Chamber of Commerce backs Faleomavaega's cannery plans

3:10 pm on 16 July 2009

American Samoa's Chamber of Commerce is throwing its support behind Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin's proposal to save the territory's tuna industry.

The Congressman is consulting on a proposal aiming to attract federal incentives for fishing boats that directly deliver their catches to American Samoa, and for companies that process tuna in the territory.

The Chamber's President, David Robinson, says with Samoa Packing closing in September, it is important to maintain the operations of the other processor, Star Kist Samoa.

"We've probably lost something between 25 and 30 percent of the support of the local industry, We're going to have masses of people unemployed as a result. It's vital that we try to hang on to Star Kist by whatever means we can, whilst we're in the process of developing other industries that are going to support our economy."

David Robinson says if a bill can be passed by the end of October, as planned, all will not be lost.