30 Oct 2013

Fisheries Council wants staff to work with American Samoa Govt

12:33 pm on 30 October 2013

The federal Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council has recommended that its staff work with the American Samoa government to fight against illegal fish imports.

The staff will assist the territory in developing standards to prevent illegal seafood imports, which may be undercutting the price of locally caught fish.

The Director of the American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources Dr Ruth Matagi-Tofiga says the territory made the request early this month to the Council following concerns from local fishermen during workshops conducted by her department.

Dr Matagi-Tofiga says local fishermen indicated that seafood from other Pacific islands, mainly Samoa, are being imported in by local stores and restaurants at a lower cost, and they are not buying local catch.

She says imports do not have proper documentation while local fishermen are required to follow federal and local laws that help protect the long-term sustainability of domestic fisheries.