1 Jun 2015

Pago Pago to fight opening up 50 mile zone to longliners

10:27 am on 1 June 2015

The American Samoa government plans to strongly oppose a plan to open up an area now reserved for local fishing boats to longlners.

The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council has approved opening up the 50 mile closure area but the federal government has the final say on the amendment.

The territory's Governor Lolo Moliga says he is more convinced than ever that American Samoa should fight to keep the control of its ocean in its hands.

He plans to present a strong position to the Secretary of Commerce to convince him not to approve the amendment.

American Samoa's statement to the Secretary of Commerce has been completed and the governor was to review and approve it this week.

Lolo says the territory needs to keep the 50 mile closure area for the people of American Samoa, to create jobs and business from fisheries.

There's a public comment period before the Secretary of Commerce makes a final decision on the amendment.

Pago Pago Harbour, American Samoa

Pago Pago Harbour, American Samoa Photo: AFP / Michael Runkel / Robert Harding Premium