American Samoa

American Samoa proposes new entry programme to Samoa

The proposal was discussed during Thursday's two Samoa meeting between leaders of American Samoa and Samoa in Apia.

American Samoa has proposed a "Samoa Pass Program" to better facilitate travel between the two Samoas.

The programme proposal has two features.

The first is 'Samoa Pass', a no cost, three-day permit for US Nationals to travel to Samoa.

The second is 'Samoa Premium', a single permit fee which allows multiple entries to Samoa over the course of a year.

American Samoa Government officials head to Apia for 2 Samoa talks

Close to 30 officials are attending the two days of talks.

Director of Commerce Keniseli Lafaele who is one of the coordinators for American Samoa says the size of the local delegation and the agenda of the talks have been reduced from what was originally planned.

He says the agenda includes economic integration (trade, commerce and investments), immigration and homeland security, broadband connectivity opportunities (telecommunication), health, climate change, fisheries, tourism, workforce development, election issues.

American Samoa official calls for improved fishing access

Frank Barron has told a meeting in Pago Pago that the Parties to the Nauru Agreement and the Western and Central Pacific Fishery Commission are taking advantage of the fleet.

He said the entire US fleet is hurting and it needs support from the US government.

Mr Barron said through its vessel-day-scheme the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) can control the area being fished and the cost of admission.

Robot to patrol American Samoa marine sanctuary

The US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration has announced a multi-year partnership with Liquid Robotics, a company owned by Boeing.

The NOAA said the robot, called the ocean glider, would conduct long-term environmental monitoring and surveillance of the underwater ecosystems.

It said it would help address critical long-term monitoring and data collection gaps that are not economically feasible with traditional research assets.


Photo: Public Domain

Farmers only to export taro from Samoa to American Samoa

American Samoa's director of agriculture Filifa'atali Mike Fuiava said he has met with counterparts in Samoa to explain the new rules, but needed more time to explain the requirements to others in the territory.

He said only then, the ban on taro from Samoa can be lifted.

The director said the new conditions are precautionary measures to assure food safety.

RNZI reports the ban began in May due to an unidentified disease that was causing taro roots to rot before they mature.

US Pacific delegates highlight plight of military veterans

The request was made in a joint letter from American Samoa's Congresswoman, Aumua Amata; Guam's Madeleine Bordallo; and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Gregorio Kilili Sablan.

The letter to the US House Committee on Veterans Affairs, requests a hearing to look at the challenges facing those American veterans that reside in American Samoa, CNMI, Guam, Samoa, and the Freely Associated States.

The congressional delegates said these areas get little help from the US Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Food drive underway to help American Samoa cannery workers off work

The cannery is shutting down from 21 October for the installation of new equipment and other upgrades, leaving 2,000 people out of work.

The drive is being organised by Tapumanaia Galu Satele and his family, who last year organized a toy drive at Christmas for the children of workers from Samoa Tuna Processors, who lost their jobs when the cannery closed.

Mr Tapumanaia has asked the public to donate nonperishable items.

American Samoa joins US climate change Alliance

The same day President Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement, New York, California, and Washington announced the formation of the Alliance.

It aims to uphold United States commitments under the Paris Agreement, and to try and meet or exceed the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era rule on power plant emissions.

As of last month, the Alliance had 15 members including Puerto Rico and now American Samoa has become a member.

American Samoa bandwidth capacity to increase

The American Samoa Telecommunications Authority and Hawaii Submarine Cable have signed an amendment to their agreement for the installation of a cable connecting American Samoa to the Hawaiki cable, and the provision of international capacity to the mainland.

The Authority's executive director Puleleiite Liamatua Tufele Jr. says when the Hawaiki cable is launched the bandwidth capacity for American Samoa, currently at 10 gigabytes, will increase to 200 gigabits.

The Hawaiki cable system is expected to be in commercial service in June of next year.


American Samoa introduces new arrival and departure forms

Governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga said the new single entry form eliminates the burden on travellers who were previously required to complete two or more forms upon arrival.

Lolo said it had been developed to combine all statutory requirements pertaining to Immigration, Customs, Quarantine, Health and Tourism.

He said the departure form had been designed to improve the collection of data on resident travellers, reasons for moving abroad and tourism to improve the visitor industry.


Photo: 123rf