6 Jan 2014

American Samoa government unsure about helping fishing sector

5:55 am on 6 January 2014

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

Last week, for sale signs went up on longliner fishing boats anchored in the main dock and at the canneries.

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

But our correspondent, Monica Miller, says the Governor thinks a drop in the price of fish helps the local canneries.

The canneries employ thousands of people and a lot of secondary businesses depend on the canneries so that's the sort of thing he's looking at as well. But he says they are looking at a way but at this stage it's not very clear cut what the government is going to do for the longliners.

Monica Miller says the Governor says the government is looking at the best way to help local longliners and the administration has been talking with the canneries for their input.