Tri Marine: Proposed rule changes for dolphin-safe tuna will not impact local facility
Tri Marine International says the proposed rule changes by the federal government dealing with among other things, change of storage requirements related to dolphin-safe and non-dolphin-safe tuna on board fishing vessels; and, create new requirements for processors, will not have an impact on the company’s American Samoa operations, including its proposed new cannery facility.
More than a week ago, the three major U.S. tuna canneries - StarKist Co., Bumble Bee Foods LLC, and Chicken of the Sea International - voiced concerns and objections to the U.S. National Marine Fishery Services over the proposal to revise regulations under the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act (DPCIA) to enhance the requirements for documentation to support labels on tuna products that represent the product as dolphin-safe.
“The proposed rule regarding Dolphin safe labeling and possible changes in the regulations will not affect Tri Marine’s plans to operate the tuna cannery in American Samoa,” said Dan Sullivan, Tri Marine’s vice president of production.
“All tuna processed will, of course, be dolphin safe and we will comply with the regulations in effect,” he said responding to Samoa News questions.
(See last Friday’s edition of Samoa News on the some of the specific amendments proposed by the federal government.)
Tri Marine has a state of the art cold storage facility located at its Atu’u compound where the company plans to open a cannery facility next year under Samoa Tuna Processors Inc. but that depends on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer approving a permit that would allow Tri Marine to reconstruct a collapsed seawall next to the site of the cannery.
Asked for the status of the permit, Sullivan said, “we have been in communication with the [Army] Corps and believe the permit process is progressing and are optimistic it will be issued later this month.”
Tri Marine, which also has a fishing fleet based in the territory, has submitted a mitigation plan, which has been approved by the Army Corps to ensure the protection of any marine life on the sea floor in the area that will be part of seawall reconstruction.
During last month’s dedication of it’s cold storage facility, Tri Marine board chairman and majority shareholder, Renato Curto announced that the company is looking at the end of May this year to have the Army Corps permit.