American Samoa's Department of Marine Resources is seeking assistance from the Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Council for an assessment on American Samoa's bottom fish resources.
The Department's Director, Ufagafaga Ray Tulafono, says more than ten local fishing boats are now concentrating on bottom fishing and with the territory's limited reef resources, he wants to prevent any overfishing.
He says an assessment is needed to determine the state of bottom fish resources in local waters.
He says the findings of the assessment would help determine what regulations should be put in place for bottom fishing.
Pointing to Hawaii, Ufagafa says bottom fish species like the red snapper are not as plentiful as before and he anticipates that companies there would be looking at the territory for supplies of these highly priced fish.