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Port Admin to conduct a captain’s licensing certification program

Port Administration director Taimalelagi Dr.  Claire Poumele. [SN file photo]

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Port Administration Department is planning to conduct a captain’s licensing certification program later this year in June and members of the community will be allowed to enroll in the courses that'll take about four-weeks, says Port Administration director Taimalelagi Dr.  Claire Poumele.

This initiative was reported two weeks ago during the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council meeting in Honolulu, where Council staff Nate Ilaoa presented several local fishery issues, including a local fishermen’s training program.

According to Ilaoa, he was informed that Port Administration “is planning to initiate a captain’s licensing certification program” with the goal of increasing their capacity for captaining some of the ASG boats such as tugboats.

Ilaoa said he has inquired with Port Administration if the initiative will be open to fishermen and other people, but there was no word yet. “We’re hoping that other folks will be able to sign up as well,” he said.

Responding to Samoa New inquiries, Taimalelagi explained that Port Administration plans to conduct the program for potential Maritime Captains in June this year. “We have about seven Seamen Able that would qualify to test for the next level which would be Captain,” she said yesterday.

The two local instructors that are certified to teach the courses are Captain Lafoga Alovao — who is now the Master Captain of Tugboat Peggy H, which ASG purchased early this year and is en route to American Samoa — and Fifita Siua, who is a Master Journeyman.

Alovao and Siua have both completed certification programs in Hawai’i, Taimalelagi said, adding that Port Admin funds the training program and “it will probably take about 4 weeks for the course work.”

“We will allow for members from the community to enroll in the program,” Taimalelagi said when asked if others in the community will be allowed to enroll.