9 Nov 2015

Pago Pago businesses decry effects of purse seine ban

8:22 pm on 9 November 2015

Businesses in American Samoa say they are feeling the effects of the United States' ban on purse seine fishing vessels, as boats cancel their offloading stop at Pago Pago.

Local stevedore company Blue Angel, which has been in business for 57 years, reports it has lost 60 percent of its income as a result of the ban.

Herman Popeye Thomsen says his workers used to be paid US$200 to $300 a week but are now down to $80 to $90 for 1-2 days of work.

The company has 80 employees.

According to a presentation by the ASG Fisheries Task Force to the House of Representatives in August, there are 18 purse seiners based in American Samoa and each spends about US$6 million in the territory annually.

Mr Thomsen says he doesn't know how long his business can survive and is urging the US Government to do something to prevent Pago Pago becoming a "ghost town".

Cannery, American Samoa

Cannery, American Samoa Photo: Supplied