THREE PACIFIC PORTS AMONG U.S. TOP TEN IN FISHING VALUE

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HONOLULU, Hawaii (August 20, 1997 - PIDP/CPIS)---American Samoa, Guam, and Hawaii are among the top ten U.S. ports in terms of commercial fishing value.

Pago Pago, American Samoa, according to the Honolulu-based Western Pacific Fishery Council, is the top U.S. port by far.

Council Chairman James Cook noted that fish landed in Pago Pago last year had a value of $212.5 million. It also ranked number one in 1995.

Other statistics for 1996, released by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, placed Guam fourth, with fish valued at $94.6 million, and Hawaii sixth, with a $64.3 million catch.

The Western Pacific Region's other major port, the Northern Mariana Islands, had a 1996 value of $18.6 million, placing it 48th among U.S. ports.

Cook pointed out that the primary species targeted by U.S. commercial fishing vessels in the Pacific include tuna, swordfish, marlin, mahimahi, various bottomfish, and lobster.

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