23 Dec 2013

American Samoa shipyard worried at impact of tuna fleet decline

3:11 pm on 23 December 2013

The chairman of the American Samoa government shipyard authority has asked the governor's office to consider a fuel subsidy or cuts in fuel costs.

David Robinson has made the request in an attempt to help the territory's longline tuna fleet, which makes a significant contribution to the shipyard's annual budget.

Mr Robinson says government officials he has met with agree something must be done in the short term to help the local longliner fleet and they are working on a list of possibilities.

He says a significant part of the current fiscal year revenue projections for the Shipyard Services Authority 2014 budget of two million US dollars, includes close to 900 thousand for repairs to 24 longliners.

Mr Robinson says the cost of fuel is the most significant factor in the high costs of operating the vessels and boat-owners have complained what they are receiving for their catches is hundreds of dollars below their operational break-even point.