27 Jan 2014

American Samoa fishing association hopeful about industry's future

2:53 pm on 27 January 2014

The American Samoa longliner group, Tautai Fishing Association, says if federal and local government, port owners and industry members work together, its suffering industry could be saved.

An association member, Carlos Sanchez, says it met the government to discuss falling fish prices, competition from subsidised Chinese fishing boats, lack of port space and the excise tax on fish.

Mr Sanchez says the governor, Lolo Moliga, assured members they would get all possible help from the government but wants two weeks to review the issues to come up with a plan.

Mr Sanchez says the industry needs some financial help from the government before it can turn things around itself.

"We need financing to make our boats more competitive. The problem is we cannot ask for loans at banks because the banks don't loan any money especially now that we are in trouble. But we think a little bit of our part, and a little bit of the government we can resolve the issue."

Tautai Fishing Association member, Carlos Sanchez.