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Pago Pago may become a ‘ghost town’

Wednesday 11 November 2015 | Published in Regional

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PAGO PAGO – Businesses in American Samoa are feeling the effects of the United States’ ban on purse seine fishing vessels, as boats cancel their offloading stop at Pago Pago.

Local stevedore company Blue Angel, which has been in business for 57 years, reports it has lost 60 per cent of its income as a result of the ban.

Herman Thomsen says his workers used to be paid US$200 to $300 a week but are now down to $80 to $90 for 1-2 days of work. The company has 80 employees.

According to a report by a Fisheries Task Force in August, there are 18 purse seiners based in American Samoa and each spends about US$6 million in the territory annually.

Thomsen says he doesn’t know how long his business can survive and is urging the US government to do something to prevent Pago Pago becoming a “ghost town”.

- RNZI