The head of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement is calling for more flexibility for US tuna vessels in negotiating access to fishing grounds with island countries rather than being locked into the US South Pacific Tuna Treaty.
Under the treaty, the US will pay 90 million US dollars next year for 40 US vessels to fish in the exclusive economic zones of 17 Pacific countries.
Kiribati has cut its fishing days for the US purse seiners to 300 days a year after offering thousands of days in previous years.
Transform Aqorau says the canneries in American Samoa are greatly affected by this reduction in fishing days under the treaty.
"They're not allowed, by the US government, to have these different arrangements. So I think they are a victim of their own government, and they really need to... my message to them is try and work with us, don't try and go against us."
Transform Aqorau says he is urging for flexibility so that fishing boats can negotiate on their own.