3 Jan 2014

For sale signs now up on American Samoa fishing vessels

4:20 pm on 3 January 2014

In American Samoa, for sale signs have gone up on longliner fishing boats anchored in the main dock and at the canneries in Pago Pago.

Some local owners cite competition from Chinese fishing vessels leading to low fish prices, and a lack of government support as just some of the reasons why they have to sell up.

Other boat owners, through the Tautai Longline Association say government charges for everytime they dock and move to clear the way for cruise liners and freighters have also hurt them.

Our correspondent, Monica Miller, says the local fishing operators feel abandoned by the government, and have no choice but to sell.

We were told there are about 20 boats and the for sale signs are on the longliners with the contact number of the person to call if anyone is interested in buying them.

Monica Miller says a group set up by the Governor to look into the needs of the longliners has described the situation as complicated.

The American Samoa governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga says he is sympathetic and wants to help local fishing boats but he says the canneries are the government's main focus.