Economic Performance of the American Samoa Longline Fishery

Objectives and Methods

In 2006, PIFSC established a program to collect economics data from the American Samoa longline fleet, which targets primarily albacore tuna. Similar to the economic monitoring program for the Hawaii longline fleet, this program was established in the American Samoa-based longline fishery through collaboration between the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) Economics Program and the Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO) Observer Program. The economic data collection program focuses on gathering expenditure data for sampled longline fishing trips on a continuous basis.

To collect the economic data, PIFSC researchers created a data form (0.3 MB PDF), comprised of 10 variable cost items common in American Samoa longline trips, but excluding labor costs. For some cost items including diesel fuel, engine oil, and bait, information was collected on unit price, quantity used, and total cost. For other items, including freezer/ice, gear, provisions, communications, and miscellaneous items, information is collected on total cost. Additional information was also collected about the vessel operator and crew.

Reports

Pan M
2015. Economic Performance and Status of the American Samoa Longline Fishery, 2014. Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, PIFSC Internal Report IR-15-015, 9p.
Pan M
2014. Economic Performance and Status of American Samoa Longline Fishery Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, PIFSC Internal Report IR-14-020, 6p.

Summary Data

The data collected through this program provide important economic indicators of fishery performance. PIFSC has completed an internal report summarizing these data:

Pan M, Chan H, Kalberg K
2012. Tracking the Changes of Economic Performance Indicators for the Main U.S. Commercial Fisheries in the Pacific Islands Region. Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center Internal Report IR-12-039, 18 p.

Below are selected analyses of these data; more information is available in above-referenced report.

Fishing Trip Costs — American Samoa Longline

The chart below shows that fuel costs per trip (blue) varied across years while non-fuel costs not including labor costs (red), were relatively flat during the period of 2006 to 2012. The fuel cost per trip peaked at $28,628 per trip in 2008, a year when the fuel price was also high. As a result, total trip cost was $44,487 per trip. Trip cost in 2012 was higher than 2008 although the average trip length in 2012 was 3 days shorter than that in 2008. The average cost per trip was $49,358 in 2012. Fuel cost made up roughly half of the total trip costs (non-labor items).

The variability in average trip length may be affected by the limited number of observed trips. In addition, the average trip length is a factor that may influence the average trip costs. 2007 data are not presented due to confidentiality concerns.

Trip costs (non-labor costs) for American Samoa longline trips, 2006-2012.
Trip costs (non-labor costs) for American Samoa longline trips, 2006-2012.

Fuel Price Trends — American Samoa

The chart below shows the fuel price trends from 2006 to 2012. The price of fuel spiked in 2008, declined for a couple of years, and increased again in 2011 and 2012.

American Samoa fuel price trends, 2006-2012.
American Samoa fuel price trends, 2006-2012.