PNA Ministers visit American Samoa

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

AMERICANSAMOA

P R E S S  R E L E A S E

(for immediate release – Monday, July 25, 2011)

Contact: Tiaaluga Vincent Iuli Email: vkiuli@gmail.com

Cell: (684) 733-4680 - Office: (684) 633-4116 - Fax: (684) 633-2269

Gov. Togiola welcomes Parties to the Nauru Agreement ministers for familiarization visit to American Samoa; group control 25% of world tuna

Governor Togiola Tulafono joined Tri Marine International to welcome to American Samoa the honorable ministers of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement on Saturday, July 23, 2011 for a two-day familiarization visit to the Territory.

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement, or the PNA, is the Western and Central Pacific organization whose member countries control 25% of the world’s supply of tuna. Countries of the PNA include the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

Arriving from Apia after attending the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries meeting to decide the strategic direction for Pacific fisheries, PNA ministers utilized their visit in the region to accept the invitation of Governor Togiola and the American Samoa tuna industry for a familiarization tour of the canneries and tuna fishing fleet based in the Territory.

Governor Togiola expressed his sincere gratitude in welcoming the Honorable Mattlan Zackhras – Marshall Islands Minister of Resources and Development, Honorable Roland Kun – Nauru Minister of Education and Fisheries, and Honorable Bradley Tovosia – Solomon Islands Minister of Forestry and Acting Minister of Fisheries, PNA secretariat officials and staff to American Samoa.

“I am deeply honored that you have graced us with your presence here on our part of the Pacific soil and you have happily accepted our invitation to visit our island home since we first met in the Marshall Islands last year,” said Governor Togiola, who gave the keynote address at the Majuro PNA meeting in October 2010. “Thank you for coming to see us, and to see our development for yourself. As you have seen, we’re just like your island home; tuna is part of our lives, our culture, our people and our environment. We thank you for your support and cooperation to sustain, manage and develop tuna as our collective key resource in our islands.”

Governor Togiola also thanked Tri Marine International Chairman - Mr. Renato Curto, who was represented by his daughter - Ms. Daniella Curto, Tri Marine International Group Managing Director Mr. Joe Hamby, and StarKist Samoa CEO Mr. Brett Butler, for being American Samoa’s tuna industry partners, and in collaborating to host the PNA ministers’ tour of their respective canneries and the show of goodwill between the industry and the PNA.

“Most of the tuna processed in American Samoa is caught in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the PNA and there is a mutual dependency on the processing and catching capacity of the tuna industry of American Samoa and the PNA,” said Governor Togiola. “I am very happy and proud that the honorable ministers have visited to see first-hand our major fish processing industry and fishing fleet and the significant opportunities of mutual benefit for the Pacific island nations’ access to American Samoa's resources for delivery and processing of fish and the many blessings from these waters that we share in our part of the Pacific.”

The PNA ministers, officials and staff joined Ms. Curto and Tri Marine officials and boat owners on a tour of the StarKist Samoa plant and Tri Marine’s Samoa Tuna Processors facility as well as the American Samoa Government shipyard and port.

Governor Togiola and First Lady Mary Ann Tulafono hosted a special dinner at Government House on Maugaoali’i in honor of the PNA ministers and Ms. Curto, where he paid tribute and said thanks to the PNA for its dedicated efforts to securing long-term economic benefits for Pacific Island countries.

“On behalf of the people of American Samoa, I wish to express my gratitude to the PNA for the commitment to fisheries management and regional development through the conservation and sustainable use of fisheries resources in the Pacific region, and the great assistance in maintaining stability in the waters that connect us,” said Governor Togiola. “After all, our fish resource is crucial for economic stability and it is food that our Pacific Island countries rely on. And so, also on behalf of Tri Marine International and StarKist Samoa, I wish to say thank you for allowing their respective fishing boats fish in your EEZs. They both are very thankful for the wonderful tuna that has been obtained from the waters that join and unite us. My special thanks also go out to Tri Marine – Samoa Tuna Processors and StarKist Samoa for their gesture of goodwill in accommodating our visitors on their tour to their facilities. Thank you for your collaboration and support.”

The PNA traveling party included PNA Executive Director Dr. Transform Aquorau, Commercial Manager Mr. Maurice Brownjohn, PNA Secretary Mr. Antonius James Jimwereiy, Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority Director Mr. Glen Joseph, Nauru Fisheries and Marine Resources Authority CEO Mr. Charleston Dedenu Deiye, Solomon Islands Fisheries Ministry official Mr. Sylvester Diake, Solomon Islands Foreign Affairs official Mr. George Dan Hoa’au, FSM National Oceanic Resource Management Authority Deputy Director Mr. Eugene Pangelinan and Palau Natural Resources Ministry official Ms. Kathleen Sisior.

The Tri Marine group that accompanied Ms. Curto included Vice President of Production Mr. Dan Sullivan, Director of Operations Mr. Philip Roberts, Manager for Government Affairs Mr. Nollen Leni, and Samoa Tuna Processors General Manager Mr. Ian Boatwood. American purse seiner owners Mr. Joe Finete and Mr. Ricardo Da Rosa were also part of the PNA visit.

“American Samoa wishes PNA well in advancing their sustainable management and
development of the tuna in your waters because I have said before that tuna is the Pacific’s oil and we should treat it in the same manner as oil producing countries treat their resource,” said Governor Togiola. “May you remain strong and united in your efforts and focused on your stance of ‘one in will, aspiration, values, interest and in spirit.’ I wish the PNA good luck and we say thanks for visiting American Samoa.”

The PNA departed the Territory on Sunday, July 24, 2011.

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TIAALUGA VINCENT IULI
Press Officer
Office of the Governor
American Samoa Government
Pago Pago AS 96799
Office (684) 633-4116, ext. 234
Cell (684) 733-4680

Fax: (684) 633-2269
Email: vince.iuli@americansamoa.gov
Alternate emails: vkiuli@gmail.com, vkiuli@yahoo.com
Website: americansamoa.gov
"Samoa Muamua Le Atua"
[Samoa, God is First]

Background on STP AND Tri Marine

Samoa Tuna Processor is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Tri Marine Group of Companies.  Tri Marine’s business includes fishing, procurement, processing and trading of tuna and other seafood products. Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, Tri Marine has offices in 14 countries with 10 processing plants located strategically around the world.   Its owned fleet of 14 tuna purse seiners operates mostly in the Western Pacific.   Tri Marine was founded in Singapore in 1971. Since then it has grown to be one of the largest tuna supply companies in the world and it provides an efficient, cost effective and flexible supply chain solution for its customers. Tri Marine serves famous brands, processing plants and fishing companies.