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Albacore Longliner Fleet Pleads For Help

Longliner owners in American Samoa, whose vessels are sitting idle in the harbor, are asking the territory’s government to reduce or waive some of the port charges so they can start fishing.
The Tautai o Samoa Fishing and Longline Association says port charges, clearance requirements, and the huge drop in the price of albacore are to blame for the fleet’s inactivity. According to the boat owners, the albacore price has decreased in a few months by almost USD 1,000 per ton, which makes it impossible for them to break even.
One of the owners says there has been a lot of talk about the protection of the environment, but there has been nothing about helping the fishing fleet survive.
In a letter to American Samoa’s governor, the boat owners say there are too many port charges and they are always charged full fees when government vessels are given a discount.
They also question why their US-flagged vessels need to go through the clearance process since they do not leave the exclusive economic zone. They say vessels fishing in Honolulu are not subjected to this procedure.