20 Feb 2015

Deal possible amid American Samoa fishing concerns

1:36 pm on 20 February 2015

The Pago Alia Fishing Association says it's still opposed to larger longliners fishing in American Samoa's protected area, but it is open to reaching a compromise.

Only smaller vessels, including alia owners, can fish in the 50 nautical mile large vessel protected area, with their catch supplying local restaurants and markets.

However, The Tautai o Samoa Longline and Fishing Association has asked the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council to allow large US flagged vessels to fish there on a one-year trial basis.

The president of the Pago Alia Fishing Association, Henry Sesepasara, says though they'd like to find a compromise, it's a difficult thing to manage.

"Allowing them to come in would create an economic problem for the local fishermen as well, you know. It's just two sides of the coin, you try help one, and you will have a negative effect on the other."

Mr Sesepasara says he could be open to a one-year trial, but the fear is this could open the door to larger vessels fishing in the area indefinitely.