American Samoa requested Samoa for help in saving the US pacific Tuna Treaty to ensure that the two local canneries don’t run out of fish and put the few thousand people who are employed there.
At the 2 Samoa economic integration talks in Apia last month, the local delegation sought Samoa’s support for the treaty, pointing out that it was mutually beneficial for both American Samoa and Samoa.
For example 85% of the employees at the canneries are from Samoa.
The outcomes statement from the meeting says the two countries are attending the next US and Pacific Island Countries Treaty Re-negotiations.
This a vital treaty to the 2Samoa’s given the direct financial benefits received by the Government of Samoa, as well as the role that this treaty plays in fishing access for US purse seine vessels operated by American Samoa to fish in the Pacific, which are the key suppliers of fish for the two canneries in American Samoa.
The summary of the meeting says given that 85% of the canneries’ workforce is from Samoa, American Samoa requested for Samoa to support their efforts to save the US Pacific Tuna Treaty, as the opportunities borne out of the treaty are mutually beneficial for both countries.
Samoa clarified the importance of the recently enforced Tokelau Arrangement, which are the latest efforts by the Pacific Island Forum countries (FFA membership) to take control of the management of the southern long line fishery.
Samoa also re-affirmed its support for American Samoa to be a party to this Agreement. However, noting American Samoa’s interest and governance, Samoa acknowledged and supported America Samoa’s efforts in the management of this fishery, which is very much in line with the main objectives of the Tokelau Arrangement.
Further discussions will planned between the Fisheries Officials of both countries to consider mutual interests and avenues for collaboration.