Repairs are underway for the main slipway at the government-owned Ronald Reagan Shipyard in American Samoa.
Upon completion of the work - expected to take about four months - the 3,000-ton slipway will be able to service large purse seiner fishing vessels.
The repairs come after 30-plus years of the slipway being neglected, ingratiating for funding, and arduous planning, according to American Samoa Shipyard Service Authority chief executive officer, Moefa'auo Bill Emmsley.
The government has allocated $US1 million for the repairs, but a report more than three years ago by the US-based, Crandall Dry-docking recommended $US7- $US8 million to "replace" the slipway.
Moefa'auo sid that with limited financial resources they won't be able to bring shipyard up to 100 percent capacity - current capacity is about 30 percent.
"We need additional funds to bring it up to the level that we feel has sustainable operation - 55 percent capacity would only give us just enough margin of safety to bring up a percent."