MAJOR AMERICAN SAMOA TUNA CANNERY EXPANSION POSSIBLE

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (September 28, 1997 - Samoa News)--- Governor Tauese Sunia has confirmed rumors that StarKist Samoa is contemplating a major expansion of its local tuna cannery operation.

The Governor said StarKist is contemplating closing its plant in Puerto Rico and is looking into whether American Samoa's plant could be expanded to handle an increased volume of fish.

StarKist General Manager Barry Mills is off-island and unavailable for comment.

StarKist's cannery in Puerto Rico is the company's only other American tuna processing plant.

Since 1990, 3 of the 5 tuna canneries operating in Puerto Rico have closed down, leaving only StarKist and Bumble Bee.

The federal government attributes the decline in Puerto Rico operations to minimum wage increases, environmental laws, and consumer concern over dolphin safety.

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to >samoanews@samoatelco.com

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