19 Mar 2013

American Samoa call for deregulation of fisheries

4:10 pm on 19 March 2013

The founder of the American Samoa Longline Fishing Association says the industry needs to be deregulated in the territory so the fishing fleet can survive.

Carlos Sanchez says something needs to be done by the Western Pacific Fisheries Council and the US Government to allow the industry to compete with what he perceives as an invasion by Chinese fleets.

He says countries like Tuvalu and the Cook Islands sell fishing licences to Chinese fleets which are subsidised by their governments.

Mr Sanchez says the American Samoa fishery needs to be deregulated, which will reduce costs for the local fleet, so they can have a chance to compete.

"We cannot fish here in Samoa 50 miles around the island, that's insane. I mean 12 miles around these sanctuaries will be more than enough. We have all these regulations, all these sanctuaries, all these things that just cut our wings. We cannot fly, we cannot do anything."

Carlos Sanchez of the American Samoa Longline Fishing Association