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CONGRESSMAN ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA American Samoa U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE October 23, 2000


Congressman Eni Faleomavaega announced today that Ivan Lui-Kwan, CEO and President of Kona Bay Oyster and Shrimp Co., will be visiting American Samoa this week to explore the possibility of establishing a clam and fish farming operation in the Territory.

"Kona Bay’s principal products are clam seed and fresh shrimp for food and brood stock," Congressman Faleomavaega said. "But the company is actively exploring utilization of sea cages to grow large volumes of fin fish. It is my hope that Kona Bay’s expertise in marine aquaculture will result in a business venture that will produce economic opportunities for the people of Samoa."

"I have already discussed the matter with Paramount Chief Misaalefua John Hudson of the island of Ofu and he has expressed an interest in wanting to establish clam and fish farming on the island of Ofu," Congressman Faleomavaega said. "It is my intent to bring this matter to the attention of Paramount Chief Tuiolosega to explore the possibility of establishing a similar operation on the island of Olosega. We will then proceed to the island of Ta’u where I have asked High Chief Paopao Faresa to coordinate Mr. Kwan’s visit with the appropriate traditional leaders."

Congressman Faleomavaega is currently the Ranking Democratic member on the House Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans. According to Congressman Faleomavaega, the United States imports well over $9 billion of fish per year. "All we want is part of that $9 billion," Congressman Faleomavaega said. "That’s why I’ve always advocated the establishment of marine aquaculture as part of our overall strategy for economic development. Simply put, the ocean is our farm and if Kwan’s vision is fulfilled, this will be an excellent industry and a viable business for the people of Tutuila and Manu’a, and maybe even for the people of the Tokelau Islands" Congressman Faleomavaega said.

Mr. Lui-Kwan has worked closely with officials from the Oceanic Institute, one of the world’s most renowned marine research centers. Congressman Faleomavaega has also visited the Oceanic Institute and during a series of briefings was very impressed with the Institute’s development of marine aquaculture.

"The Oceanic Institute is particularly known for its breakthrough technology in developing fish tanks that can produce as much as 200,000 fish per tank in a matter of months for potential export," Congressman Faleomavaega said. "For example, the Oceanic Institute has developed the complete production of the fish called moi, a highly favored fish that was eaten only by Hawaiian royalty in ancient times."

Congressman Faleomavaega also noted that the Oceanic Institute is conducting research, development and production of ornamental fish for aquariums. Currently, the sale of ornamental fish is a $6 billion industry in the United States.

Mr. Lui-Kwan’s strategy for marine aquaculture development includes using Kona Bay’s technology and management expertise to establish joint ventures in locations in the mainland United States, the Western Pacific, the South Pacific and Asia. Mr. Lui-Kwan will be in Samoa for about a week during which time Congressman Faleomavaega will accompany Mr. Lui-Kwan on his visit to Manu’a. Arrangements are now being made to have Mr. Lui-Kwan meet with as many local fishermen and all other interested parties during his brief visit to the Territory.

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