12 Jul 2010

Documentary planned on demise of tuna canning in American Samoa

3:59 pm on 12 July 2010

An independent film maker from Hawaii is producing a documentary about the tuna industry in American Samoa to highlight its significance for locals and the economy.

Tuna canning is vitally important in American Samoa but last year one of the two canneries closed throwing the economy into turmoil.

This year the remaining cannery has been cutting staff, blaming this on the impact of the federally mandated rises in the minimum wage.

Film maker Jeff Deponte says people are not considering what impact this will have on the territory's economic future.

"The canneries are responsible for eighty percent of your economic activity. I mean if one cannery shuts down; if the other should shut down or you cut back so dramatically, I mean that's going to impact just everything that happens in Samoa. It seems to me, almost, that people are in denial."

Jeff Deponte.