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American Samoa longline fishing fleet given respite by Fishery Council

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council has voted to modify the large vessel prohibited area for a period of one year in order to provide relief to the longline fishing fleet in American Samoa.The Council made a vote during its four-day meeting last week in Tumon, Guam after hearing of economic hardships being faced by the longline fishery in American Samoa.The modification will reduce the northern boundary of the large vessel prohibited area around Tutuila, the Manu'as, and Rose Atoll from 50 nautical miles to 25 nautical miles and around Swains to 12 nautical miles.Last February, the Tautai o Samoa Longline and Fishing Association asked the council for a temporary moratorium or waiver from regulations governing the 50 mile area closures around American Samoa.