3 Feb 2014

American Samoa government working on relief for longline fishermen

8:18 am on 3 February 2014

The director of Commerce in American Samoa is confident a committee set up to help longline fishermen can come up with enough measures to sustain them during the quiet season.

About 20 longline fishing boats have been put up for sale because their owners say they are finding it difficult to survive in the face of falling fish prices, competition from subsidised Chinese fishing boats, and high fuel prices.

Boat owners recently met with members of a government appointed committee set up to help address their concerns.

A committee member and director of commerce, Keniseli Lafaele, says some things are out of their control but they can look at reducing docking fees, and re-examining an excise tax on catches.

"Those are things that we believe we can help them out with, provide more temporary spaces where they can dock, at the same time for the long-run looking at constructing more permanent dock space for long boats."

Keniseli Lafaele.

The committee will meet with boat owners again this week.