24 Jul 2015

Exemption asked for American Samoa fishing fleets

1:54 pm on 24 July 2015

Tri Marine International is seeking an emergecy exemption to federal rules so its vessels can supply its American Samoa tuna cannery.

Cannery, American Samoa

Cannery, American Samoa Photo: Supplied

Earlier this year, as a conservation measure, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration closed off an area of ocean to the U.S flagged fishing fleets.

The closure means Tri Marine's fleet of 12 purse seiners based in American Samoa will struggle to supply enough tuna to Samoa Tuna Processors cannery.

Tri Marine is asking for an emergency exemption based on the limited fishing grounds now available to the American Samoa-based purse seiner fleet.

It states that the unusually low tuna price, and the higher cost of fishing grounds in the region mean the ability of American Samoa-based tuna vessels to operate profitably, is in serious question.

It adds that the loss of a reliable supply of tuna from these vessels will jeopardise the ability of the canneries in American Samoa to compete in world markets.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs