Talks were held in Honolulu earlier this month concerning the export of fresh fish from American Samoa to Hawaii and Japan.
Director of Commerce Keniseli Lafaele met separately with officials of Hawaiian Air and a fish wholesaler Tropic Fish of Honolulu to discuss the possibility of supplying the fresh fish market of Hawaii with catches from the territory.
Lafaele said that Hawaiian Air is keenly interested and is willing to configure its aircraft to accommodate fresh fish shipments from here to Honolulu.
Tropic Fish supplies restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, and other fish markets in Hawaii, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, and New York as well as Canada and Japan.
The possibility of exporting fresh fish from the territory to the lucrative Japanese market was also discussed but Lafaele says he would rather concentrate on getting the shipments off the ground and ensure regularity and compliance with Japanese standards before sending fish there.
He said the Japanese are very particular and if there’s any problem with fish supplies, they will never accept supplies from that source again.
In the mid 1980’s American Samoa was exporting fresh fish to Hawaii.
However exporters complained that the freight rate was too high.