16 Dec 2013

American Samoa fishing companies planning to sell up

5:18 am on 16 December 2013

The owner of an American Samoan fishing company says locally based albacore fishing operators plan to sell their vessels because the industry is no longer viable.

The president of Longline Services Incorporated, Carlos Sanchez, says the price of fish is at an all time low, they face stiff competition from Chinese fishing companies and there is little support from the territory's government.

Mr Sanchez says the Chinese have a fleet of more than 400 vessels in the region and they are heavily subsidised.

"They subsidise fuel, they subsidise licences, they subsidise crew, they subsidise everything, so there is no cost, so they can sell their fish at any price and the price came down one thousand two hundred dollars in the last six months. It went from three thousand seven hundred to two thousand three hundred."

Carlos Sanchez says from next month the alabacore fishing fleet will be displaying for sale signs.