20 Oct 2017

Fish supply shortages continue to hamper American Samoa

11:52 am on 20 October 2017
A StarKist manager Archie Soliai.

StarKist manager Archie Soliai. Photo: Supplied/ KJH Radio

Fish supply remains a challenge for the American Samoa-based StarKist cannery, but the company is hoping things will improve by the new year.

StarKist, the largest private employer in the territory, shutdown production for one week in August due to fish supply shortages.

This weekend, the cannery will shut down again for five weeks to install new equipment and upgrade the facility.

StarKist Samoa executive Taotasi Archie Soliai informed a Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council meeting of the move this week.

Taotasi said StarKist continues to face fish supply shortages.

"A lot of that volatility to the cannery industry continues to remain and we are hopeful that that will improve towards the end of the year and into next year."

Taotasi said traditional contract vessels continued to be their main suppliers.

Samoa Tuna Processors cannery closed in December and those suppliers were redirected to other waters.